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Break-in suspect leaves blood trail

COVINGTON - The Covington Police are looking for someone who has suffered a potentially severe cut, probably to his hand or arm, according to Lt. Wendell Wagstaff.

They believe if they find that individual, they'll find the burglar who climbed through a window at Grace United Methodist Church on Washington Street sometime after church services Sunday or early Monday morning, ransacking the facility and taking a computer and a safe.

Officers found blood on the window where entry was made and then tracked it throughout the church facility.

According to an incident report completed by Officer Asher Dozier, after gaining entry into the church, the burglar, who detectives believe to be small in stature, forced open the administration office from where he took a computer, keyboard and monitor. While inside that office, blood from the suspect's wound dripped onto the floor and officers said it appeared he had tried to clean up the floor and had used several paper towels to absorb the blood.

Leaving that office, officers followed what they described as "a large blood trail" to the accounting office where the door had been forced open and a safe was missing.

From there, they said it appeared the suspect exited the building through the emergency exit and went down some fire stairs into the parking lot, where the trail ended and they found a white towel soaked in blood.

Samples of the blood evidence were taken and one of the officers went to Sharp Learning Center to ascertain if any bleeding students had reported to school.

"Although the office was not aware of any students bleeding, they stated that they did have a suspicious area of large blood on the floor and in the bathroom stall of the faculty bathroom," Dozier wrote in his report.

An evidence technician went to the school to take samples of the blood there as well, and Wagstaff said a comparison would be made by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab.

Police ask anyone with information as to the identity or whereabouts of the suspect in this case to call the CPD at 770-786-7605. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting their Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "contact us" and then "secret witness."