Deputies seek victims of suspected church burglar

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department busted a burglar who targeted area churches.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash - Pierce County Deputies want to find the owners of religious artwork, religious books, and antique bibles. Deputies recovered the items after they arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with several church burglaries.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, sometime between 9 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14 and 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, located on 25th Avenue East in the Tacoma area, was burglarized. A glass window pane had been removed, and several doors inside the church were pried open. 

After the burglary, church staff reported that several pieces of audio equipment were missing, including a microphone and transmitter system, an audio mixer, and an amplifier.

Members of the Proactive Property Crime Unit reached out to an online seller to "purchase" items that appeared to be the missing church equipment. After connecting with the online seller, deputies determined that he was the suspected church burglar, and he was booked into the Pierce County jail.

Following the arrest, investigators obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s vehicle. It turns out the vehicle had stolen license plates on it, and stolen property inside, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office. Deputies say they also found several checks that did not have the suspect’s name on them and burglary tools.

Burglaries that happened late last year at Lutheran Church of Christ the King and Holy Resurrection Orthodox appear to be linked to the same suspected burglar, according to Investigators. They were able to return some items.  

Deputies have contacted several priests in Pierce County and King County to try to identify the rest of the recovered property.  

Copyright 2017 KING


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