Updated: 07/21/2014 6:14 PM
Created: 07/21/2014 3:45 AM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
Four people are behind bars after police say they broke into more than half a dozen churches in the past four days.
State Police say, Thomas Archer, Christopher Rose and Danae Chiarilli, who are all 18, along with 20-year-old Christopher Boilard, broke churches in Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties. Police say the group stole cash, two safes and musical equipment. All four suspects are facing felony burglary and larceny charges.
Sandusky Baptist Church in Freedom is one of the churches that were broken into. William Swan is the senior pastor there. Late Friday, Swan and his family went into the church to make sure everything was turned off for the night.
William Swan said, “We noticed the door was broken. My oldest daughter found a little jar that the kids and I throw our change into for whatever we do with the church, and she said it is empty.”
Swan says, compared to the other churches, they were lucky. The only things missing at Sandusky Baptist Church is money and recording equipment.
Swan said, “They came in from that door down there, which was unlocked, and came over here. I don't see any pry marks, but it looks like they just pushed the door and broke it. If they had just asked, then we would have given it to them. But they came in and took and that is heartbreaking.”
Heartbreak that Swan says he has already forgiven. He says he would rather see the four suspects be mentored if they're convicted.
Swan said, “Would putting them in jail even help them? I would like to see them have to do restitution with the churches they broke into.”
If you want to help any of the victimized churches, they ask you contact them directly.
Troopers say most of the stolen items have been recovered, but are asking anyone with more information to call State Police at 716-353-4029.