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Posted: October 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Burglar left trail of blood at crime scene

Officers investigate at a

 Grace United Methodist Church on Washington Street was burglarized and the thief left plenty of blood behind for officers from the Covington Police Department to use for identification.

According to reports, officers from the CPD were called to Grace UMC on Monday morning when a person arriving at the church noticed that someone had entered the church through a window in the pastor’s office. According to reports, judging by the size of the entrance area, officers believe the person who broke in would have to be small in size to have made the initial entry.

After making sure no one was still inside the church the officer began to survey the scene, immediately noticing blood on the Plexiglas covering the window where entry was made as well as the window itself. He also noticed several drops of 90 degree blood spatter on the concrete ramp below the window. Blood was also found all over the window blinds, the desk calendar, post-it notes and a cardboard box in the corner. The office had also been ransacked, according to the officer. The complainant was unsure, at the time, if anything was missing due to the disarray.

The officer followed the blood trail and, according to reports, could see the vandal had left the pastor’s office and forced entry into the administrative office. He reportedly found blood on the exterior wall north of the door and on the door handle. The door frame was also splintered.

Once inside the administrative office he noticed smeared blood on the floor, as if someone had attempted to clean up. A roll of paper towels found on top of a file cabinet allegedly had a bloody spot and the officer located several bloody paper towels in the trashcan. That office had also been ransacked, according to reports.

The woman who called the burglary in was able to tell the officer that a Dell tower computer, flat screen monitor, keyboard and mouse had all been taken from the office.

Straight ahead from the office was a hallway where the officer could allegedly see a large open room with a large blood trail going through the room. It did not appear that anything was bothered in that particular room.

However, the door to the accounting room had been forced open, damaging the door and frame, and the safe had been removed from the office. The complainant was unsure of the amount of money the safe may have contained, but did reportedly tell the officer they had recently made a deposit.

The blood trail continued out the emergency exit door and down the fire stairs where it ended in the parking lot. A white towel with blood stains on it was allegedly found in the parking lot at the south end of the church building.

The officer went to a nearby school to see if there were any students reported bleeding there. According to reports no one in the office was aware of an injured student but they allegedly told the officer they did have a large area of blood found in on the floor and in a stall of the faculty bathroom.

Surveillance video from the school showed a young man in the area of the bathroom around 9 a.m. but further investigation found he did not show any major injuries consistent with the large amount of lost blood.

Evidence technician Herrion Ervin was called to collect blood samples from the church and the school, which were both sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab for processing.

According to CPD Detective D.J. Seals the blood evidence will be entered into the DNA database to see if there is a match on file. "Obviously if we are dealing with a juvenile there probably won’t be a match but if we are dealing with an adult there is a good chance we may get one," he said. He added that even if the blood does not match anyone in the database it will still remain there and could be helpful in solving crimes in the future, should this person continue to break the law.

Anyone with information about the burglary at Grace UMC is asked to contact the Covington Police Department at 77-786-7605. Callers can remain anonymous.

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