Church, school break-ins under investigation

Nov. 5, 2007

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Local authorities are investigating break-ins at two local churches and the Delano Elementary School that are believed to have taken place the early morning hours of Oct. 18.

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office responded to an alarm at the Delano Elementary School shortly after midnight, according to School Resource Officer Craig Burton of the sheriff’s office.

Burton said a keyholder was contacted, who went into the school. As he entered the school, he observed a person near the computer labs.

“He saw a person flee out one of the back exits,” Burton said. Once the sheriff’s office arrived, the building was checked, and a k-9 unit tracked the person to the area of Delano Evangelical Free Church on Elm Avenue.

At the church, deputies discovered a screen had been taken off a window. A keyholder for the church was contacted, and the church building was checked and secured, with nothing appearing to have been taken from there.

That morning, just after 10 a.m., authorities at West Hennepin Public Safety received a report from Delano United Methodist Church on Highway 12 regarding a burglary.

Director Ray McCoy said nothing was reported missing from that church either, but that it appeared whoever was in there used the building as a “hideout.”

“It’s speculation at this point, but they’re more than likely all connected,” McCoy said.

Once inside Delano United Methodist, a door was forced open into one of the offices, and about $2,000 of damage was done as a result.

McCoy said the two agencies are working on the case together, and said a lot of forensic evidence was recovered from Delano United Methodist that is being processed and followed up on.

Burton noted there were some pry marks on one of the back doors of the elementary school, and it appears a personal digital camera was taken, but aside from that, there was no other damage or property taken from the school.

There are no suspects at this time, and the case remains under investigation by local authorities.