Police Investigating Four Church Break-Ins

Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) are investigating break-ins at four different churches over the last two weeks.

On January 15, two suspects broke into St. David's Presbyterian Church. They were said to gain entry by breaking a window on the building's south side. A witness saw the suspects, and police believe this is what caused them to flee the scene without stealing any property.

On the morning of January 19, thieves broke into St. John's Anglican Church in Nassagewaya. Thieves entered through the front door, and cut copper wiring used in two separate water heaters on the main floor. "We like to think of our spaces as being safe sanctuaries for all, so for them to be invaded and assaulted in this way has shaken them for sure," Reverend Stephen Blackmore said. The church is located at Guelph Line and number 10 side road.

St. Paul's Church was broken into on the morning of January 19 2023. According to police, a single male suspect entered through an unlocked side door facing James St. Copper piping was removed from the building's lower level, causing some water damage. Cameras, video recorders, a laptop. The church is still supporting the many groups using their facilities. "Members of our community and church families were devastated by the thoughtless break into our sanctuary resulting in the pipes being broken, and flooding of our church basement," Erin Esch said. Esch is one of St Paul's parishioners. The church host community organizations, as well as a Montessori school. “As before, we always have, and we will prevail,” St. Paul’s Council Chair John Challinor said.

Blackmore is also the Reverend at St. George's Anglican Church in Lowville, which was broken into on the afternoon of January 19 2023. Thieves took cameras, as well as speakers, a brass cross believed to be from the 1940's and a guitar belonging to Blackmore. "I'm angry, and feel violated. These culprits showed no respect for anything. Stephen also said they took his guitar which was very sentimental to him," Debbie Stokes said. There is concern over the parishioners returning to the church.

Police believe the four break-ins are linked. The incidents at St. George's, St. John's, and St. Paul's are listed as three of five break-ins (designated as non in Halton on January 19, 2023 according the crime map. HRPS asks that anyone with information on these incidents contact I District Criminal Investigations Bureau at: 905-825-4777 ext. 2416 or submit anonymously through Halton Crimestoppers: www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca

Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter