Authorities in Louisiana are looking for a real-life Grinch following a recent string of church burglaries.
The Baptist Message, news journal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said four Baptist congregations were among nine churches of various denominations hit by burglars in Grant Parish in north central Louisiana and more populous Rapides Parish, which includes the 47,000-population city of Alexandria.
Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said the burglaries occurred late Sunday following evening services. He urged churches not to leave cash in their facilities for any reason.
Lt. Tommy Carnline, public information officer for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, advised churches to keep all doors and windows locked, leave some lights on at all times and install a security camera and alarm system.
He added churches should keep serial numbers and take photos of all valuables, and establish a point of contact with the law enforcement in the event of an incident.
It is the second string of church break-ins to occur in Louisiana this year. In August police arrested three men from Jena, La., in connection with 13 church burglaries over the course of several weeks across three parishes, prompting formation of a multi-agency task force.