Church vans vandalized

Published 10:33 am Monday, January 9, 2012

“How low can you go?”

That question was posed by Bertie County Sheriff John Holley in the wake of a rash of thefts from churches in Bertie County.

Five churches in the county have had catalytic converters cut off their church vans in the past several weeks. The victims include Piney Wood Chapel Missionary Baptist Church near Powellsville, Rountree Temple of Praise near Powellsville, First Missionary Baptist Church of Powellsville, Colerain First Baptist Church and Eveninglight Church of God In Christ outside of Windsor.

“The problem with church vans is that many times they are left at the church and no one checks on them for a long period of time,” Holley said. “I would suggest each church in the county take the time to check their van to make sure it has not been vandalized.

“For the time being, I would also suggest churches move the vehicles to the home of a member or the pastor,” the sheriff continued. “I would place it somewhere there was constant traffic.”

Holley said the catalytic converters were likely being sold at junk dealers for $75 to $100 each, but were costing churches $300-$350 to replace them. He said vans were being targeted because they are higher off the ground than a normal vehicle, making it easier to get to the converters.

“I really wonder how low a person can go to steal from a church,” Holley said. “It’s sad, but we do have a very good lead in the case. I feel good about our investigation.”

Anyone who has information about the case can call the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office at 794-5330. They are also welcome to call Sheriff Holley at 325-0260.