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Weekly Church Crime News 11/18/2022

church crime news Nov 20, 2022

(November 17) Man Arrested For Hate Crimes Against Local Church Members

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) arrested a man for hate crimes against a local Pentecostal church on Tuesday, November 15th. Miguel Campos, 31, was arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail for hate crime charges and criminal threats.

According to the BPD, Campos had made credible threats against members of the Pentecostal faith. Campos has a history of concerning behavior against members of the local church.

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(November 16) Church Van Stolen In Franklin Twp., Butler County

(Franklin Twp., Butler County, Pa.) Pa State Police in Butler are reporting that they were called to the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Franklin Twp., Butler County at 9:43 AM yesterday, November 16, 2022, for reports of a burglary.

Troopers said that they were informed by Church Pastor Benjamin Osterling that an unknown actor entered the church through an unlocked window and gained access to vehicle keys before stealing the church van overnight. The stolen vehicle is a white Chevrolet Express G3500 with Pa registration plate JXV-3689. The van also has Mount Zion Baptist Church written on the side and back of the van.

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(November 16) Virginia Beach Pastor Accused Of Soliciting Minor Steps Down From Leadership Duties At Church

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WRIC) — John Blanchard, a pastor who was arrested in Chesterfield County last year after authorities reported that he had solicited sex from a detective posing as a minor online, has voluntarily stepped back from his lead pastor role and all other ministerial duties at Rock Church in Virginia Beach.

The announcement was made in a statement by Rock Church on its website. The statement added that Bishop Anne Gimenez will step in as the church’s lead pastor for the time being to share the pulpit with Blanchard’s wife, Pastor Robin.

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(November 16) Violent Threat At Church Daycare Puts Parents On Edge

MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Parents at some daycare centers in Midtown are on alert Wednesday after threats of violence. The parking lot that would normally be full at First Baptist Church on East Parkway sits empty Wednesday afternoon. The daycare at the church closed after a man allegedly threatened violence. 

Kat Kimball, the pastor of First Baptist, said they closed the school that serves 120 infants through 4-year-olds out of precaution after some threats were made.

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(November 16) 7 Suspects Charged In Connection With Crime Ring That Stole $1.5M From Churches In 14 states

Authorities in Georgia have arrested more suspects connected to a crime ring that is believed to have stolen approximately $1.5 million from churches in over a dozen states, bringing the total number of suspects arrested to seven. 

The Fayette County Sheriff's Office recently arrested Houston, Texas, residents Eduardo Antelo-Gonzalez, 36; Dayani Antelo-Gonzalez, 38; and Jose Leyva-Guerrero, 36; and Tampa, Florida, resident Pedro Ramirez-Camillo, 30.

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(November 15) South African Adventist Church Treasurer Sentenced For Theft

Lady Memory Mutsika, former church treasurer of the Pretoria City Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa, was sentenced to three years in prison for theft. She was convicted of stealing church tithes and offerings and depositing the money to her personal bank account, according to a report by Ernest Mabuza for TimesLIVE.

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(November 14) Pastor Of Texas Church ‘Knew It Was Wrong,’ But Kept Downloading Child Porn, Feds Say

The longtime pastor of a Texas baptist church was arrested on child porn charges after federal authorities said he downloaded and shared the explicit content — at times from the church.

David Lloyd Walther, the pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock, was charged with distribution, receipt, transportation and possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

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(November 12) Church Defaced By Bigoted Graffiti

WESTMORELAND — Members of the Westmoreland United Church say that a sign meant to convey the congregation’s inclusivity to all was defaced with black graffiti twice in the past two days.

Carol Austin, the church’s moderator, said she was first notified of the defacement early Wednesday morning when a community member notified her of the spray paint partially covering the sign.

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(November 11) 3 Arrested After Person Shot At Outdoor Basketball Court Near Church In Vestavia Hills

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Detectives with the Vestavia Hills Police Department have arrested three individuals in connection with a shooting incident that occurred near Shades Mountain Baptist Church the Sunday, Nov. 06, 2022.

The Jefferson County DA’s office has arrested 49-year-old Lameka Roshundra Cook for Assault 2nd degree and two counts of Robbery 1st degree, 24-year-old David Jarrell Coleman for Assault 2nd degree and two counts of Robbery 1st degree, and 18-year-old Timothy Earl Wynn III for Assault 1st degree and two counts of Robbery 1st degree.

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(November 11) New Jersey Teen Arrested For Threat Against Jews

The suspect is named as Omar Alkattoul of Sayreville. An 18-year-old man was arrested in New Jersey on Thursday and charged with making threats to commit a hate crime against Jews. 

Omar Alkattoul of Sayreville, New Jersey, appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday to face one count of transmitting an online threat to injure others. 

A magistrate judge ordered that he remain in detention without bail. 


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