Thomaston police and Upson County sheriff's deputies are investigating two burglaries which occurred just days apart at local churches.
Thieves last week broke into St. Michael's Church in Thomaston and Antioch United Methodist Church on U.S. 19 North.
The St. Michael's burglary occurred Aug. 20 while the break-in at Antioch United Methodist occurred either Aug. 24 or Aug. 25.
Within hours after stealing items from St. Michaels, authorities say, the thieves were in Barnesville offering to donate those same items to another church.
Bishop John Holloway said that doesn't surprise him.
"Once items are consecrated to to the Lord as these were, someone may be able to touch or handle them inappropriately, but only for a short season," Holloway said.
The $7,300 worth of items stolen from St. Michael's have been returned and none were damaged.
The thefts occurred over a two-day period. A keyboard in the church was taken Aug. 20 and the altarware - several chalices and other items - were taken the following day.
Bishop Holloway praised the work of the Thomaston Police Department, and especially Detective Monica Snipes.
"The police did an outstanding job," he said. "Investigator Monica Snipes did an awesome job."
The keyboard was recovered from a local pawn shop. The other items were left at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Barnesville. Church officials there called the Barnesville police and officers took possession of the items as early as Aug. 23.
A couple of days later, word spread to Barnesville about the theft and the items were returned.
Meanwhile, two people have been charged with the theft - neither from Upson County. They are Dick Allen Morris of Alabama and Dorothy Ann Oxley of Stockbridge.
"Nothing was lost and nothing was damaged," Bishop Holloway said.
There was no forced entry in the church because St. Michael's is open most days for services, community work and for use by members and the public. Bishop Holloway said that policy won't change.
"We've been there four years this December and there has been no vandalism, no instances of theft," Bishop Holloway said. "We want to keep our church open for our members and the community."
The break-in at Antioch occurred either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
According to the report, $1,340 in office equipment and $250 in electronics were stolen.