Giles County church targeted by thieves three times in last 18 months

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ELKTON, Tenn. — Repeated instances of stolen lawncare and catalytic converters from a van have left a local church frustrated but hopeful that those responsible will turn themselves in to local law enforcement.

“In the last six months we’ve had the converter taken off the van twice and we had our lawnmower, which we only had four months…stolen also,” Sunrise Chapel Pastor Eddie Woodard said.

According to Woodard, the van especially is crucial to helping Sunrise’s congregation.

“It’s very needed,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in our community that would love to come to church and would love to come to activities we have for children and that kind of thing, but don’t always have the transportation or the means to get here.”

But it’s also become a common target along U.S. Highway 31. The church had security cameras installed after the first time the van’s catalytic converter was stolen a year and a half ago, Woodard said, but no arrests were made.

But early morning October 10, the church’s surveillance cameras clearly showed two people walking around in the parking lot then breaking off the converter, worth hundreds in scrap or salvage.

“None of this (property) belongs to us,” Woodard said. “It all belongs to the lord.”

Woodard hopes that instead of authorities finding the suspected culprits, the suspects first find themselves.

“It’s kind of a nuisance when you go out and your van has been vandalized. But at the same time we know that something drives these kinds of people to do these things. I mean that’s why we’re all here, is to just help one another heal, help one another through their struggles, and these two are no different. They need help, and that’s what the lord’s for.”

Elkton Police investigate the stolen lawnmower, while Giles County Sheriff’s Office is looking into Sunday’s catalytic converter theft.

Anyone with information related to these cases can call (931) 363-3505.

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