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At least three area facilities have been hit: Colton Community Church, Camp Colton and Colton Elementary School

This past week, Colton Community Church, 21228 South Highway 211, had a break-in where vandalism and property damage was the majority of the crime.

"The best we can determine is it happened between Sunday, Jan. 21 about 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 24 about 5 p.m.," church Deacon Eugene (Gene) Weinberger said.

According to Weinberger, a door into the church's fellowship hall was jimmied open, and rooms were rummaged through. All the cabinets in the kitchen area were opened as were all the Sunday school classroom doors. The only locked door inside the facility was to the deacon's room and it was pried open as was a file cabinet in the room. Nothing in the deacon's room was identified as taken. There was no money on site. The sound system area was rummaged through and a packaged of "D" batteries was the only thing noted as missing.

"The outside door was not very secure, but we are adding deadbolts to all outside doors," Weinberger said. "We will have to find the money to replace the inside door to the deacon's room and the file cabinet."

He also said that when a member of the congregation had gone to the church to start coffee before the Wednesday evening meeting of the Awanas Club, she thought she might have heard noises upstairs. It is also assumed, since the motion detector light was not activated during any of the nights and no flashlight or internal lighting was noticed during eyeing or night hours, that the break-in probably happened during daylight hours.

"It is scary for some of our members as a place they considered safe has been compromised and have stated concerns about going down to church alone," Weinberger said.

Weinberger said the incident was reported to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

Another incident at Camp Colton off South Highway 211 in the neighborhood of the church was described by a camp employee: "They did steal items and made a chaotic and confusing mess, but little breakage. Law enforcement did note evidence left behind."

These latest break-ins follow a burglary II incident when several outbuildings at Colton Elementary School were broken into and a leaf blower stolen during the December 2017 winter break.

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