Thieves target houses of worship in Cleveland Heights

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Police are looking for the person or people responsible for multiple break-ins at local churches, temples and synagogues.

Police said from August 8-August 13 houses of worship, of various denominations, across the city were targeted.

Some were attempted break-ins, but officers said in others, the thieves successfully rummaged through and ransacked the properties.

Some of the burglarized buildings include Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Church of the Master and Fairmount Presbyterian.

Police said none of the churches or temples kept large amounts of money on the property but the burglars caused thousands of dollars in damages to the buildings.

At Beth El the Heights Synagogue, the suspects broke locks, doors and furniture and stole some sentimental and historically important items like one of their silver yads, or pointers.

“Wow, it’s pretty shocking that people would do that,” said Maureen Gill as she prepared to attend mass at St. Ann’s Church.

Many people in the area were stunned by the series of break-ins.

Police said some of the crimes happened in broad daylight.

While detectives search for the suspects, churchgoers said they will be looking over their shoulder.

“It’s always a place you feel safe as if nothing is going to happen, but I guess it makes you realize that you have to be alert all the time,” said Judith Cetina.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call Cleveland Heights police.

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