Burglary suspect accused of ripping off local church arrested - KPTV - FOX 12

Pastor on church burglary suspect: 'He's a dangerous person'

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Jeffrey Wilson Jeffrey Wilson
Jeffrey Wilson in court Jeffrey Wilson in court
Central Christian Church Central Christian Church
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Police say they've caught the man who ripped off a local church just hours before Sunday service was set to begin.

Jeffrey Wilson, 45, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from the Central Christian Church, 1844 S.E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., at 7 a.m. Sunday. He is also accused of burglarizing the church on Feb. 25.

According to court documents, Wilson admitted getting into the church by breaking out a small window in a basement stairwell and crawling inside.

Police said he admitted stealing cash and items including musical equipment, a coffee pot and two speakers. He said he used a small hand truck to get the items out.

He was arraigned in court Tuesday on charges of burglary and his bail was set at $10,000.

Police responded to a call at 7:30 p.m. Monday from someone who believed they spotted the wanted suspect based on news reports about the burglary.

Officers arrived in the area of Southeast 55th and Woodward Street and took Wilson into custody.

Sunday's burglary led to the cancellation of the morning's church service. Pastor David Brink said several door knobs were broken, speakers and amplifiers were pulled from their sockets and the office safe had been cracked open with a hammer.

Brink said the burglar hit every floor of the three-story church, getting away with $6,000 in cash and equipment, along with student records that included information for church members.

"He's a dangerous person and I really think he needs to get help, at the least," Brink said outside the courtroom after Tuesday's arraignment. "And certainly he needs to be incarcerated until that comes."

Surveillance cameras showed the suspect riding away on a bike, just eight minutes before Brink arrived at the church.

Detectives are investigating the possibility that Wilson has been involved in other burglaries in the area, but no additional charges are pending at this time.

Police said they received multiple tips from the community about the burglary and the suspect's identification.

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