LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Police said a 36-year-old man has been trying to break into local churches and befriend young students on social media.
Last month, female students at St. Patrick Catholic School told their counselor that interactions with an Instagram account named "captain.america.4ever" made them uncomfortable.
“Social media can be a wonderful thing," said Fr. Jeff Shooner, pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church. "But it can also be a very dangerous place young people."
The account's profile picture is an American flag. Its bio frequently changes and has read, "I do sneak into a school at night ... because it's the only way I can get to the church and kneel before my God. Father forgive them, they know not what they do."
Schooner urged people to be cautious about their social media interactions.
“You should, of course, know anybody that you're connecting to online in this day and age and this time,” he said.
He said the students did the right thing by talking to someone they trust.
“Sometimes, there can be the idea in the child's mind that if they say something, the technology is going to be taken away from them," he said. "So there also has to be a safe place for them to communicate freely.”
Police said they believe the person behind the Instagram account is a man who they say also has been trying to break into church buildings. Police said that Friday night, a security camera captured Conley as the tried to break into St. Patrick Church. Staff called 911, but the perpetrator had left when authorities arrived.
Police are looking for Conley and said he drives a blue 2014 Dodge Caravan with Kentucky plates 146-RTZ.
People can anonymously leave tips with police at 574-LMPD.
The church had a meeting with parents and children about safe social media practices Thursday night.
“We ask of our people to be vigilant, to be part of the solution for us and also to have some trust in the procedures that are in place," Shooner said.
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