Local News

Man Charged In Series Of Church, Daycare Break-Ins

Posted November 18, 2005

— A church is a place to go to worship, but police say one man went to nearly a dozen Raleigh churches with much different intentions.

The man is accused of breaking into the churches over a six-week period.

"We had just updated," said Thomas Moore, pastor of All Nation's Fellowship.

He never imagined he'd have to update his equipment again so soon.

Raleigh police say Robert Edwards, 34, burglarized 10 churches and a day care -- all within a few miles of each other in West Raleigh.

"For someone to break into a church, it's that worst sense of someone feeling they were intruded upon," said Moore.

At his church, the suspect entered through a basement window and took off with music and electronic equipment. Then five days later, he came back again and entered through a window, police said. This time, he grabbed what he left behind, police said.

Police say most of the churches were hit for the same thing -- microphones, speakers, and other things that could easily be turned into cash.

"There were other things in these cases that were similar that clearly indicated a pattern was present," says Raleigh Police Spokesperson Jim Sughrue.

Thursday night, police were waiting for Edwards when he got home. They've recovered some stolen items.

Moore said the suspect stole something they cherish even more -- trust.

He thinks a judge should crackdown on Edwards with the only sentence that makes sense:

"It would be good for him to be required to be in church," Moore said.

Two gold-plated crosses were stolen from one of the churches. They were sentimental to a pastor because they were a gift. Raleigh Police hope to recover them.


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