BROOKSVILLE — Two men have been arrested in Hernando County on charges of trying to steal copper from an air-conditioning system at a church.
A Hernando County Sheriff's Office report said Clinton Ingram, 34, of Quarterhorse Lane, Brooksville, and Patrick Claiborne, 21, of Sam C Road, Brooksville, were arrested Thursday morning after someone saw them outside the Church of God Prophecy on Wiscon Road.
When Ingram and Claiborne, who are foster brothers, saw the witness, they ran into nearby woods, the report states. Another witness later saw Ingram walk out of the woods, where he soon was stopped by a deputy.
Both Ingram and Claiborne were booked into the Hernando County jail on suspicion of burglary.
At least eight churches in Hernando County have been hit by burglars since November, and the Sheriff's Office has been asking residents for help in finding those responsible. Similar burglaries have taken place in Citrus, Alachua, Lake, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties.
Authorities and church officials said the offenses have occurred mostly at night, generally late Sunday or early Monday after offerings from earlier services have been locked way. In most of the cases, burglars have rummaged through the offices looking for money.