• 54°

Two arrested in string of church burglaries

By ROBIN HART and KENDRA PEEK

Two people have been arrested after a string of burglaries at churches in Danville.

Clinton L. Hurley, 35, and Kayla Gonzalez, 30, both of Danville, were arrested at 10:10 a.m. on Thursday by the Danville Police Department.

Multiple churches were hit in the break-ins, including Calvary Baptist Church at 401 Waveland Avenue and the First Christian Church at 555 E. Lexington Ave., according to the release, which said there was also a theft from a car at the Living Water Worship Center at 216 Southtown Drive.

The investigation is ongoing. Danville Police Chief Tony Gray said he could not comment on whether there are other people involved.

“There’s still a lot of stuff we’ve got to go through,” Gray said.

He said the investigation had been a strain on the department’s resources, as it required officers to visit other cities in order to follow-up. 

The release from the department said “the investigation involved extensive surveillance, the execution of numerous search warrants and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies.” Those other agencies include the Lexington Metro Police Department and Kentucky State Police.

Hurley faces charges of third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking over $500, and first-degree unlawful access to a computer. Gonzalez is facing a charge of first-degree unlawful access to a computer. 

More charges are likely pending, according to officials.

The investigation is being conducted by Det. Lisa Dollins and Det. Kevin Peel. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Danville Police Department at (859) 238-1224.

Jennifer Newby, ministry assistant at Immanuel Baptist, said when church members entered the building early Saturday morning for a clean-up day, they discovered all of the offices’ doors, drawers and cabinets open. She said the surveillance video showed a male walking through the building with some sort of tool.

“It’s very creepy,” Newby said, referring to watching the footage.

Newby said they couldn’t determine if anything had been taken. They did find that a credit card, signed checks and a change jar had been left untouched.

Brent Rowe, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, said someone broke into the church’s office and took credit cards and personal items belonging to staff members. Nothing was destroyed, but the intruder left all of the drawers and closet doors open, Rowe said.

Rowe said it appeared the same suspect may have returned later and spent some time in the sanctuary, but it seems they left empty-handed.