Houston RCMP are looking into what connection there may be between a residential break in and recent break ins at two local churches.
The possibility follows an arrest made by Houston RCMP of a person leaving the scene of a residential break on March 12.
Several items believed to have been stolen from the residence were located with the person, Houston RCMP report.
And the same day Houston RCMP received a report that more than $40,000 in electronic equipment was taken after a rear door had been forced open at the Houston Fellowship Baptist Church between March 10 and March 12.
That equipment was used to live-stream church services, something that many churches are now doing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A filing cabinet was pried open and a cash box containing approximately $200 was stolen,” added a RCMP release of the incident. Some of the items stolen were later located stashed in the trees behind the church.
The two break ins follow a break and enter of the Houston Christian Reformed Church sometime between Feb. 27 and March 2.
Entry was gained through one locked door and then the door of the locked office was forced, leading police to suspect cash was being sought.
A local RCMP officer trained in property crimes assessed the first break in at the Christian Reformed church but a identification specialist was called in from Terrace for the second break in because of the high dollar value of items stolen.
“We’re looking at all possibilities at this point,” said Sergeant Mark Smaill, the officer in charge of the Houston RCMP detachment, of a potential connection between the three break ins.
Several items from the locations have been tested and others have been sent away for additional testing, he said.
Smaill said it was particularly concerning that someone is breaking into churches.
“These are places that rely on donations. We’d really like to find out who is responsible,” the sergeant added.
Smaill said anyone noticing any activity that looks out of place around local churches or other facilities should feel free to phone police immediately.
The person arrested at the scene of the March 12 break in has been charged for that offence and with probation breaches connected to previous offences. A bail hearing was held March 19.
And police are looking for information regarding these crimes. The Houston RCMP can be contacted at 250-845-2204 and the Crime Stoppers is 1 -800- 222-8477.