UPDATE: Plea deal reached in connection with church burglaries
WESTON (WAOW) -
UPDATE - One of the men suspected of burglarizing area churches reached a plea deal.
Ryan Hull will spend one year in the Marathon County Jail. He has 47 days credit. He must also attend counseling, maintain absolute sobriety, apologize to the victims and complete 200 hours of community service.
Hull pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary of a building and two counts of criminal damage to property. Other charges were read in.
Four men are in custody following a string of overnight church burglaries.
According to the Everest Metro Police Department, 6 churches were burglarized in the Weston area in the last 6 days.
After an investigation police arrested four men: 19-year-old Dustin Groff, 18-year-old Ryan Hull, 18-year-old Derik Kraft, and 18-year-old Collin Pfingsten.
Police say they are recommending a variety of charges relating to the burglaries.
All four are currently being held in the Marathon County Jail.
Police are investigating a string of overnight church burglaries in the Weston area.
According to the Everest Metro Police Department, five churches were broken into in the last five days. A sixth church had a security alarm reported, but nothing was reported missing.
Four of the churches were in Weston: Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Weston, Bethany Baptist Church, Highland Community Church, and St. Agnes Catholic Paris. St. Mark's Catholic Parish was broken into in Rothschild, and New Hope Community Church was hit in the Town of Easton.
Police say all the burglaries took place overnight or early in the morning.
Several of the churches reported money stolen, according to church leaders who spoke with Newsline 9. Several of them also reported broken windows.
At Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Weston, Pastor Lance Hoelscher says a small amount of money was stolen.
"It just kind of hurts staff and family and friends and congregation," said Hoelscher. "You feel violated and you no longer feel safe anymore."
Police are continuing to investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Everest Metro Police Department.