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Church break-ins might be related

Beaverton police believe the same suspects are responsible for two separate church burglaries that took place either late Aug. 28 or early Aug. 29.

Burglars targeted both Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 5650 S.W. Hall Blvd., and New Science Christian Church, 12270 S.W. Ninth Ave.

'Because of the timeline, the burglaries could have occurred back to back,' said Officer Mark Hyde, Beaverton police spokesman. 'We're looking for the same person or persons for both cases.'

Last week's burglary marked the second instance Pilgrim Lutheran Church had been burglarized in the past six weeks.

In the most recent incident, a burglar tossed a rock through an office window and entered the building.

The burglar proceeded to ransack the main office area, file cabinets and desk drawers before forcing open three additional, separately locked offices and rifling their contents.

In the main office, there was a pile of backpacks that had been collected and filled with school supplies for needy children.

The burglar dumped the contents of at least one of the backpacks on the floor and stole the backpack.

It's unknown what other items might have been loaded into the stolen backpack.

In the New Science Christian Church incident, a burglar forced open a back door, kicked in an office door and forced open two filing cabinets and a safe.

The burglar scattered the contents of the safe on the floor, but nothing appeared to be missing.

The suspect had left open nearly all of the cabinets in the entire church, with the exception of the Sunday school and childcare sections.

The burglar fled the scene after causing about $800 worth of damage to church property.