The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a church break-in that occurred sometime between Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.
Sheriff’s Corporal Denver Waddell responded to Edgemoor Baptist Church on Old Emory Road in Claxton at around 3:30 pm Wednesday after the church’s pastor Rick Miller called 911 to report that the church had been broken into.
The culprit or culprits gained entry to the church through a possibly unlocked exterior door, and once inside, forced open three interior doors, damaging the locks and doorframes. The suspects forced open the doors to the pastor’s office, the church office and the records room, but apparently did not take anything, despite evidence that they had searched several desks.
The Criminal Investigation Division will follow up. Crimes at churches have declined sharply in Anderson County after a spike several years ago, when thieves targeted the copper wires in their heating and cooling systems. That decrease is thanks in part to the efforts of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, which has hosted church safety seminars for the past few years. Those seminars focus on ways to prevent crime from happening in houses of worship while also helping church leaders plan for ways to deal with crime when it happens.
If your church would like information on how to safeguard itself against thieves and other crimes, contact the ACSD’s Crime Prevention Officer, David Massengill at 865-457-6255, extension 150.