A description has been released of the culprit in the recent church burglaries and assault of a pastor at the New Creation Baptist Church.
Montgomery County Police said they worked with the pastor who was assaulted during one of the burglaries and have released a computer-generated composite of the man in that particular burglary and assault.
Police have also released a description of the attacker -- a white man between the ages of 22 and 26, standing about 5-foot-10, and weighing about 225 pounds with a heavy muscular build. He has blue or green eyes and dirty blond hair worn above his collar. At the time of the attack, the suspect was clean-shaven and wearing a multi-colored winter coat with black sleeves, red and blue on the front, and black on the back; a gray or blue t-shirt with unknown design on the front; blue jeans; and dark gray tennis shoes. Police said he may have cuts, scars or bruises on his hands, chest, head and/or face because the pastor who confronted him was armed with a rake.
New Creation Baptist Church in Wheaton, Md., serves both an African-American congregation and a Hispanic congregation.
The first burglary was reported on Dec. 2 upon discovery of a forced entry to the church and that a safe containing church documents and cash had been removed, according to police.
Two more burglaries occurred this past weekend, police said. During the first burglary, someone apparently cooked and ate food at the church, and 40,000 pennies that had been raised by church youth and a bible were taken, said police.
During the second burglary, a pastor from the Hispanic community found a man hiding in a basement closet and attempted to keep him from leaving, according to police. The man allegedly punched the pastor and after a fight was able to escape from the church.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (240) 773-5530.