Area churches among the list targeted

Last updated: July 02. 2014 4:55PM - 3111 Views
By Ilene Haluska ihaluska@civitasmedia.com

Ethan Erin Louk
Ethan Erin Louk
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DARKE COUNTY — A Gordon man was in court Tuesday on 13 charges of breaking and entering for theft and two charges of safe cracking, which include Darke County churches, a campground, post office, a ballpark concession stand and businesses.

Ethan Erin Louk, 21, of Gordon, is currently held on a $10,000 cash, surety or property blanket bond at the Darke County Jail after an initial court appearance for 13 counts of fifth degree felonies of breaking and entering and two fourth degree felonies of safe cracking Tuesday. The offenses started in February and the latest one was on June 3.

Louk faces up to 16 years and more than $42,000 in fines.

The Darke County Grand Jury indicted Louk on June 26. He was arrested on a warrant for the indictment the next day in an effort to resolve several thefts including a rash of church break-ins.

The seven churches broken into were the East Zion Church in rural Greenville, the Open Bible Church in Ithaca, the Painter Creek Church of the Brethren in rural Arcanum, the Pitsburg Church of the Brethren in Arcanum, the Immanuel Baptist Church in Arcanum and St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Ithaca.

Arrowhead Campground in Harrison Township got broken into three times.

The breaking and entering with the intent to steal included an Arcanum ballpark concession stand belonging to the village, Sutton’s gas station, Farmer Brown’s restaurant and the Pitsburg Post Office, according to the indictment and the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office.

“A juvenile co-defendant will be charged on similar offenses,” said Darke County Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby, III.

“They didn’t get something in every case,” Ormsby said. “Or they took miscellaneous items that just happen to be there. It varied from incident to incident, and it looked like it was cash. The churches didn’t have a lot of cash laying around. If he’s found guilty, we would be asking for a restitution order from the court to pay the victims back.”

Louk is expected to be in court on July 28 at 9:30 a.m.

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