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Rash of church parking lot break-ins continue

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Nov 29 2012 08:37:51 PM CST
GREENVILLE -

The string of church parking lot car break-ins continued on Wednesday with two more incidents, according to Greenville Police.

Sgt. Joe Friday emailed 15-20 local churches warning them that thieves are breaking into cars and stealing valuables, including purses and wallets.

According to police reports, there have been six churches in the Pitt County area that have been targeted since October.

The latest car break-ins happened at St. Paul Church, on E. 10th Street and Immanuel Church, on Elm Street. In both incidents a window was smashed and a purse was taken.

April Gurganus said her car broken into sometime between 6:00 p.m. and 8:10 p.m. while she was sitting in church.

"I don't appreciate it. Um, even tough there was no money in it but it had all my ID in it and stuff like that. It just makes you feel really unsafe even at church. You can't even be safe at your own church," Gurganus said.

St. Paul's Senior Pastor Bobby Williams believes this was a random act.

"People who are doing this [are] just doing it out of opportunity and what they want to get or need or think they need," he said.

Pastor Williams doesn't believe the thieves care if church is going on or not.

"I just think it's an awful thing to do," he said.

A third car was broken into outside Play Date Daycare, on Firetower Road, according to Sgt. Friday.

The victim told NewsChannel 12 she heard a window shatter behind the center about 9:50 p.m. She found her car's passenger side window had been shattered and her purse taken. She had run inside Play Date for about 20 minutes when the break-in happened.

Friday said people need to be mindful of these break-ins and to not leave valuables in cars, especially in plain sight.

In the meantime, while police continue to investigate Gurganus' car break-in, the church is helping her out. They gave her $200 dollars to help her through these hard times.