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Willmar Police seek information on burglaries, including Bethel Church

WILLMAR -- Willmar Police are investigating a series of burglaries reported during the past week, including the overnight burglary of Bethel Lutheran Church.

Anyone with information about this or other crimes is urged to call the department at 320-235-2244 or Crime Stoppers at 235-3640.

The church, at the corner of Becker Avenue and Fourth Street Southwest, was entered and items taken sometime between 9 p.m. Thursday evening and 7 a.m. this morning.

Stolen in the burglary was the entire church safe, a heavy gray safe about 2-1/2 feet cubed with a dial on the front. Church officials are pleading for the safe return of the records for the Bethel Cemetery, which were in the safe.

Also stolen was cash including several hundred dollars in coins. Anyone trying to spend or exchange large amounts of coin would be suspect. The suspects spent considerable time in the building, so there is the possibility a passerby may have noticed something unusual during the night.

There are similarities between this burglary and others reported during the past week. Along east Highway 12 in Willmar, overnight burglaries have been reported in which large quantities of tools, food, and clothing have been stolen. Due to the amount of product taken, it is believed a large vehicle may be involved. Anyone seeing suspicious activity, especially with a truck or van involved, during the overnight hours is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.