LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Police in five jurisdictions along Kansas City's eastern edge are investigating a spate of recent church burglaries that could be related.
In the past seven weeks, burglars have targeted 16 churches in Independence, Lee's Summit and other municipalities.
Police believe the crimes could have been committed by the same people, and are asking the public for help tracking down possible suspects.
In most cases, thieves have targeted electronics and computers, according to an Independence spokesman.
At Woods Chapel United Methodist Church in Lee's Summit, a burglary on Monday took a different tack. The robber pulled up to a trailer in the church's parking lot around 9 a.m. and snipped the lock.
A surveillance camera captured the man loading several items into a white pickup before driving off.
The contents of the trailer had been collected for tornado victims in Moore, Okla.
"The whole idea that somebody would rob a church, or that somebody would take things destined for tornado victims is pretty disappointing," said Jeff Brinkman, a pastor at the church.
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Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS.