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Tofte church locks its doors during services after threats

Nov 26, 2017 07:12AM ● Published by Editor

By FORUM NEWS SERVICE | November 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

TOFTE, Minn. — The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help after threatening notes against a pastor and his family were left at a Tofte church in recent months.
Zoar Lutheran Church on Lake Superior’s North Shore received its first threatening note Oct. 3. The second came soon after. The third note was posted to the church sign a few weeks ago.
According to Chief Deputy Will Sandstrom, the case is still under investigation.

“We have taken some of our items and are having them analyzed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,” he said.

Sandstrom said one note was handwritten and two were typed. All of the notes were left on the property at some point. Neither the Rev. Daren Blanck nor the sheriff’s office would elaborate on what the notes said.

“There are currently no suspects, but we feel that whoever left the first one left the others as well because the contents of the threatening letters are pretty similar,” Sandstrom said. “We will look into any leads and any information that is supplied.”

“We as a congregation have decided that it’s just prudent in the light of all of the various incidences of violence in the country that we would make sure that we took appropriate measures,” he said. “We have decided that during the worship time that we would have the doors locked. We are looking at a few other issues just around the building that we thought would be good to look at to make sure worshippers are safe on Sundays.”

Blanck said the church plans to lock the doors during all of its events unless somebody is attending the door.

Blanck said the church has re-evaluated its security and safety plans since the notes were received.

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