Cherokee Co. Authorities Search for Suspect in Church Burglaries, Fire

Cherokee County authorities are searching for an individual responsible for two burglaries and a fire this week at an area church.

Officials with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office stated that the two incidents happened July 22 and early Wednesday morning at the Crescent Valley Church in the Woodall area. The church is located just off of Highway 62.

Authorities were first called out to the church for a burglary after it was reported that money, electronics and food were stolen, according to the statement provided by the CCSO. A purple ball cap was discovered and submitted to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for analysis.

Just before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, emergency authorities received reports of a fire at the church. Fire crews from the Woodall Fire Department, the Tahlequah Fire Department and the Fort Gibson Fire Department assisted in battling the blaze in the youth building of the church.

"After the fire was stopped, church staff discovered the church had again been burglarized," the statement described. Authorities believe that the same suspect is responsible for both burglaries and the fire, whether it was accidental or intentional.

Anybody with information on the burglaries and the fire are asked to call the CCSO at (918) 456-2583.

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