Timothy J. Buerk Jr.

A Villa Ridge man was charged Thursday in connection to several church burglaries in St. Clair and unincorporated Franklin County.

Timothy J. Buerk Jr., 32, was named in a felony complaint on eight counts of second-degree burglary. He is being held at the Franklin County Jail on a $30,000 cash-only bond.

According to Sheriff Steve Pelton, there have been seven reports in two weeks of burglaries at churches in unincorporated areas of the county. There also were three burglaries in St. Clair.

Buerk allegedly stole a 15-passenger van, electronics and musical instruments used during worship, as well cash after breaking into the churches through windows and rummaging through offices.

Buerk was arrested Wednesday morning at a residence in the Paradise Mobile Home Park. Investigators tracked some of the stolen property to an apartment in St. Clair where it was being stored. The van was located at the McDonald’s in St. Clair.

Authorities allege Buerk traded stolen items for drugs.

He also has warrants for his arrest for felony stealing, trespassing, assault, possession of drug paraphernalia and shoplifting.

Two St. Clair area men and one woman also were arrested at the Paradise Mobile Home Park residence, but charges have not been filed against them.

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