Deputies link Polk church burglaries to similar burglaries in Pasco

Polk County deputies say they can link a man who is suspected of burglarizing nine churches in Pasco County with three in Polk County.

That would mean David Weich would have burglarized twelve churches over twelve days, all allegedly for money.

"He just rifled through here," said Pastor Andrew Burmeister of Our Savior Lutheran Church on North Socrum Loop Road in Lakeland. "When I first saw it all, I was still at the point of real frustration and anger."

Burmeister says on July 5th, he arrived to find just about every paper and every drawer at the church ransacked.

The few hundred dollars of collection plate money in his office and the nickels and dimes in a box that was standing by the door were all gone.

"That was headed to orphans and children in India," said the pastor. "He thought it was more important that he have it."

Deputies say David Weicht was caught on surveillance camera at Lake Gibson Church of Nazarene, and they found the clothing he was wearing on camera in his home.

"People are searching for something. I wish they were searching for God," said Pastor Charles Kirby. "He really needs to change his life."

Polk deputies have only charged him with one burglary so far, but expect other charges soon, making a total of twelve burglaries.

"Apparently he has some financial issues and had just been fired," said Carrie Hortsman, of the Polk County Sheriff's Office. "I don't know why you would burglarize a church of all places to get some quick cash."

Pastors were thankful the sanctuaries were left untouched.

"We have a hard enough time making ends meet cash-wise," said Pastor Burmeister. "It's not like he went and robbed the Taj Mahal."

Deputies say he is not cooperating with authorities and has not admitted to anything.

The court process is set to begin in both counties