GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) -- Across metro Atlanta a number of businesses and facilities whose doors are now closed due to the coronavirus have been burglarized, including two churches.

“Our church been closed for several weeks due to coronavirus and the shelter in place order," said a spokesperson for New Church of Atlanta in Norcross. 

The incident prompted New Church of Atlanta to change up their security.

“After that only one of our church staff is coming to the facility to watch over.”

A church in Locust Grove was also the victim of an opportunistic thief who stole equipment from the church during the afternoon hours in the last couple of weeks.

CBS46 reporter Jamie Kennedy spoke to a number of police departments. Gwinnett Police said there is always potential for a business to be the victim of a burglary when no one is physically at the location.

So, they encourage business owners to monitor their locations either remotely or with in-person checks as long as they comply with Governor Brian Kemp's Executive Order. 

While Atlanta Police said, "given the current situation we are aware closed businesses can be potential targets, just as they would be outside of their normal operating hours. And we are making sure our officers are aware of that and that our patrols reflect that."

Marietta Police made mention that the department remains fully staffed and with a lower call volume, officers are able to patrol their zones more frequently.

DeKalb County Police said since the COVID-19 pandemic began they have seen a slight uptick in business burglaries and have proactively increased patrols near business areas. Those patrols have paid off with the department beginning to make several arrests of suspects, including some caught in the act.

Even Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina in Midtown has kept its take-away option open causing them to fall victim to those with sticky fingers. 

Churches and businesses remarked they are happy to know thieves are not the only ones on the lookout.

“We report to the police department and they regularly visit us to watch over the places around us,” said the spokesperson for New Church of Atlanta. 

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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