SULLIVAN, Mo. – An arrest has been made after a string of burglaries at churches and a Catholic school in Franklin County.
One break-in happened at St. Anthony Catholic School. Principal Mary Wooley said someone used a cinder block to break glass doors. The burglar walked through the school without taking anything. But, the break-in cost the small school more than $2,000 to repair the damage.
“To a school like ours, where every penny counts, it's a lot,” Wooley said. “It's out-of-pocket money we have to spend.”
The same night, Temple Baptist Church was broken into. Pastor Scott Perry said a burglar threw a rock into a window and climbed in. He walked around the building before he set off an alarm. The church’s security system captured video of the burglar, but his face was covered by a hoodie.
Perry said he hopes to see the burglar again, but not climbing through a window. Perry wants to welcome the burglar into the church.
“If people are having difficulty, if they're turning to drugs, crime, whatever, is the church is someone who can help them choose a better path? We hope so,” Perry said.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is investigating burglaries at seven churches. Churches in Pacific, St. Clair, Union, Gray Summit, Lonedell were hit. Money, electronics and even a church van were stolen.
A suspect, 32-year-old Timothy J. Buerk, was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants. When officers were at his apartment, they found several items that had been stolen in the church burglaries.
Buerk and three other people were arrested. Buerk has been charged with eight counts of second-degree burglary and is being held on a $30,000 cash-only bond.