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The Daily



10-09-03: Break-ins create messes at area schools, churches


The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of two breaking and enterings this morning, reportedly at the former Franklin Elementary School and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Montezuma.
The Coldwater Police Department also continues to investigate a pair of similar crimes that occurred over the weekend at the Coldwater United Methodist Church and the Coldwater Exempted Village Schools.
Sheriff’s detectives and deputies remained on the scene in Montezuma throughout the morning. Scanner transmissions indicated the presence of broken glass and “a lot of evidence.”
The breaking and entering at the Coldwater school buildings was reported at 8:24 a.m. Saturday, according to Sgt. Shane Dellinger.
Perpetrators apparently went through the buildings there collecting everything from portable radios and cell phones to gym bags and French vanilla shower gel. After apparently being spooked, some items remained inside the buildings while others had been stacked out back on the pavement.
The breaking and entering at the Coldwater church, located across the parking lot from the school, was discovered at 6:22 p.m. Saturday by the Rev. James Sager, local pastor.
The church had been ransacked and attempts had been made to remove some items including a computer scanner, DVD player, a battery charger and VCR equipment.
“It was quite a mess,” Dellinger told The Daily Standard. “The perpetrators went after everything from keys to a computer scanner.”
Church officials are trying to determine what, if anything, is missing. Police believe more than one person was involved and that something spooked the thieves causing them to leave a valuable cache behind.
It is believed entry to the school and church buildings was gained sometime after 11:30 p.m. Friday. Dellinger said there was considerable traffic in the area prior to that time due to a Coldwater Cavaliers-Minster Wildcats home football game.
“There were lots of people moving about the area before, during and after the game,” he said. “Someone would have spotted suspicious activity.”
He declined to comment on how thieves gained entry, other than to confirm there were signs of forced entry.
Coldwater Police ask that anyone noticing activity around the school buildings and the church between 11:30 p.m. Friday and 8:24 a.m. Saturday contact their office at 419-678-2356.
Franklin Elementary School currently houses Coldwater’s fifth- and sixth-grade students while their school is being remodeled.
Coldwater Superintendent Richard Seas declined to comment on the incidents due to the ongoing investigation.


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