Police looking for man accused of Cleveland church thefts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police looking for man accused of Cleveland church thefts

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - Cleveland Police are looking for a man who is accused of breaking into several churches around the city, taking food, money and electronics. South Cleveland United Method Church and St. Therese Catholic Church were hit over the weekend and North Cleveland Baptist was hit early Wednesday morning.

"From what we can find, he's taking money and food," says Evie West, spokesperson for the Cleveland Police Department.

Cleveland Police were able to find video surveillance of the man believed to be behind several church thefts. A left-behind store receipt on the ground tied him to one of the break-ins.

"Our crime scene technicians, they were able to get a still shot from a local retailer of what the suspect looks like," says West.

West says besides handfuls of cash and food, he stole electronics. A flatscreen TV is missing from South Cleveland United Methodist Church. St. Therese Catholic Church is missing a laptop and other items, after two break-ins. 

"I think that it's more hurt that somebody would disrespect the house of God to come in here and take something that's not theirs when they can ask for it and it would probably be given to them anyways," says West.

"What I could see was, this window was raised up. And so that is the way they came in," says Elizabeth Wells, describing what she found at North Cleveland.

North Cleveland Baptist was broken into early Wednesday morning.

Elizabeth Wells is the director of the children's center. She got a 6 o'clock wake up call that someone broke in to the center. Someone rummaged through her office and broke the handle off a storage room door, getting away with no more than $20.

"Now you've got yourself for a few bucks, you could end up in jail for a long time," says Wells.

She is just glad no one was there when it happened.

"I'm just thankful nobody was here and no one got hurt."

And while she forgives the man, she wants to remind him, he is messing with a higher power.

"This is God's property. Not mine. It's God's. You're not touching me, you're touching God when do that. That's the way I feel."

If you recognize the man, call the Cleveland Police Department.

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