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Four Southern Tier individuals – all of them under age 21 – were arrested Saturday in connection with several recent church burglaries in Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties.

Machias-based State Police charged Thomas J. Archer, 18, of Machias, Christopher P. Rose, also 18, of Machias, Danae S. Chiarilli, 18, of Cuba, and Christopher M. Boilard, 20, of Franklinville, each with three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of third-degree grand larceny, both Class D felonies; and three counts of fifth-degree conspiracy, three counts of possession of burglary tools and one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief, all Class A misdemeanors.

About eight church burglaries were reported over the past week – six in northern Cattaraugus County – according to State Police Sgt. Daniel Hollands.

Cash, two safes, musical instruments and various small items were stolen, authorities said.

Hollands said a tip led police to the four suspects.

“It was really quick in terms of time between burglary and arrest,” he said.

State Police were assisted by Cattaraugus County and Wyoming County sheriff’s deputies. Police recovered most of the stolen items.

The four arrested suspects were arraigned in Town of Yorkshire Court and were being held in Cattaraugus County Jail on bail of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. They are scheduled to appear in Town of Yorkshire Court on Thursday.

Other charges by the Cattaraugus County and Wyoming County sheriff’s offices are pending, police said.

Police said it is possible that more churches were burglarized during the recent operation.

“If somebody else has information that another church has been victimized, we would appreciate them coming forward,” Hollands said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Machias-based State Police at (716) 353-4029.

email: scampbell@buffnews.com