A 15-passenger van has been reported stolen from Jackson United Methodist Church and is the second such incident in Butts County in three months.
Church members reported Jackson UMC’s 2015 Chevrolet van stolen Aug. 4, but believe it may have been taken overnight Aug. 2 or early Aug. 3. Church member J. Michael Brewer said the van was last seen in the parking lot on Aug. 2. He said a church member noticed it was not parked there Aug. 3, but figured it must have been on a church trip and had no reason to suspect it had been stolen.
When parishioners arrived Sunday and the van was not there, they reported it stolen to law enforcement officials.
Brewer said the van was used heavily by the church’s youth group, along with other vehicles, and all of the Chevrolet’s keys were accounted for inside the building.
He said it was recently purchased to replace another aging vehicle in the church fleet. Youth group members had planned to take the van on a Labor Day weekend camping trip.
Butts County Sheriff’s Major Jeff Nix said investigators have entered the van as a stolen vehicle in a state database and are investigating the theft. On Wednesday, he said the van had not yet been located and no arrests had been made.
In a Twitter post, church members gave the vehicle’s tag number as CGA-8105.
In May, members of Stark United Methodist Church reported their van stolen from the church parking lot. It was described as a white 15-passenger 2008 Chevrolet Express.