A Lorado man was arrested after the pastor, deacons and some women of the church at the Bethel Tabernacle church at Davey Branch noticed some mysterious things, then found items missing.
Earl Robinson, pastor of the church, said it began a couple of months ago, after they had installed new deadbolts on all the doors at the church.
“Deacons and women of the church would go in the building and find one one of the doors without the deadbolt locked. They would report it and everyone said they were sure it was locked when they left,” said Robinson.
Then after hearing the news that the Saunders Memorial Church was broken into, church members worried their church might be next.
“We prayed and annointed all the windows and doors when we heard of that break-in,” said Robinson, who laughed and went on, “We should have annointed the vents.”
The church kept a jar of change beneath the podium, for members who had birthdays to get change if they needed it to put in their birthday offering. After another of the unlocked door incidents, they found the jar missing. At first they just thought someone had emptied it and taken the money to the bank, but after asking all the members, they knew someone had been in the church and taken the money.
Robinson and one of the deacons visited the church on Saturday after the church had been cleaned throughout on Friday. They found muddy footprints as they went through the church.
The church had heaters they used in the classrooms before having a heat pump installed back in the summer. They had to get the heaters out and put them in the classrooms to keep the kids warm after they discovered the return vent had been pulled loose.
After the first snow and bitter cold temperatures, services were called off on Sunday morning. Sunday evening, one of the deacons came to the church and found muddy footprints throughout the church. Members were asked to make sure to wipe their feet when they came in.
Over the next two days, deadbolts were found unlocked and they finally figured out they had an intruder. Robinson and one of the deacons came to check it out and found more muddy footprints and even some blood, and the vent had once again been pulled loose. The vent was how the intruder was getting into the church.
Other than the change from the birthday offering, the intruder took food, candy and soft drinks from the kitchen and two heaters from classrooms.
They had an idea who might have been breaking in the church and Mr. Robinson spoke with him. According to Robinson, he also left a message admitting he broke into the church and apologizing for having done it.
“I know the young man. We would have given him any of these things if he had asked for them. We like him and we’ve always invited him to functions at the church. What he did was a violation of God’s house. That’s what bothered us. I can tell you that now that the basement and vent return are secure and this will not happen again. I want others to know that it is possible for people to break in other ways than windows and doors. Everyone needs to make sure all possible ways of access are secure.”
Archie Mosley III, 37, of Lorado, was arrested by Logan County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with two counts of nighttime burglary. He is currently out on $15,000 bond. The criminal complaint notes one of the heaters had been recovered and the location for the other was known. The complaint says Mosely admitted where the heater was obtained. The heaters were both recovered and returned to the church.
Mosely also faces charges of forgery, uttering and petit larceny from a second criminal complaint that accuses Mosely of taking a check from his father, forging his father’s signature and cashing it at the United Bank in Man without the victim’s knowledge or permission. The victim provided deputies with copies of the check.
Debbie Rolen can be reached at 606-625-3940 or Twitter @DebbieRolen