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Hinesville police investigate church break-in
burglary graphic

Hinesville police are looking for a suspect in the recent break-in of a local church.

According to an incident report filed by Hinesville police Officers Richard Kunda and Wilson Rodriquez, the break-in took place Jan. 18 at the Trinity Missionary Baptist Temple, 1016 Live Oak Drive.

The report states that church secretary Danielle Smiley noticed paint chips on the carpet near the finance office. When Smiley investigated the source of the paint chips, she noticed pry marks near the handle of the door leading into the office. She was unable to enter the office because it was locked. 

Upon further investigation, she discovered pry marks on the door to the pastor’s office. Smiley did not enter the office for fear someone might have been inside. She left the church and called police.

When authorities arrived, according to Rodriquez's report, Smiley told the officer the church is under video surveillance and that officers would be able to review the footage. The video showed a man with light skin and black or dark brown hair wearing a grey hoodie with jeans and sneakers pulling on the doors to the church’s front entrance. The man then went to a back door and was able to enter the church. The recording system showed the time of entry to be around 10:10 p.m.

The man could be seen going to several offices going through the drawers and the pastor’s podium. It was discovered during the investigation that the food bank door was left open and a case of assorted meat products was missing. The suspect apparently used a dolly to transport the case. The dolly was later found in bushes outside the church.  Also taken was a jar containing $12.

Authorities believe the suspect might have used a vehicle to transport the case of meat products; however, the vehicle was not captured on video.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hinesville police Detective Jeff Davis.


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