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Churches not exempt from crime

COVINGTON - Nothing seems to be sacred for thieves. Two area churches have been victimized by crime recently.

The office of Early Hope Baptist Church at 25 Parr Farm Road was broken into sometime Friday night with the culprit making off with thousands of dollars worth of office equipment, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

A church employee said he left the facility around 10 p.m. Friday night and everything was in good shape, but when he returned around 10 a.m. the following morning, he noticed that a rear basement window was broken.

Among the equipment taken was a Powerlite projector, software, a desktop computer and monitor, a printer and a laptop computer. The items were valued at just over $2,000.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said investigators are going over the crime scene to determine if the thieves entered through the broken window and if there was any evidence left there that can be used to track down the suspects.

A second church reported the theft of a valuable ring that had been donated during a 2005 pledge drive.

An employee with the Church of the Good Shepherd on Clark Street told an officer with the Covington Police Department a ring valued at $7,820 had been donated to the church while it was still meeting at its former location on Church Street.

He said the ring had been given to the church in May of 2005 and when it was appraised and valued at nearly $8,000, it was placed in a locked file cabinet in the church office for safekeeping. The ring is now missing.

CPD detectives are investigating the loss.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.