Accused church burglar released from jail due to overcrowding - KPTV - FOX 12

Accused church burglar released from jail due to overcrowding

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A local man suspected of burglarizing a church on two separate occasions has been released from jail due to overcrowding, Multnomah County Jail employees said.

Jeffrey Wilson, 45, was released from jail on Sunday.

He's charged with two counts of second-degree burglary after police say he broke into the Central Christian Church along Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard on Feb. 25 and March 24.

"It leaves you very uneasy," said Pastor David Brink.

A viewer recognized Wilson from surveillance video used in media reports early last week and called police, investigators said.

Cash and several thousand dollars worth of sound equipment and computers was stolen from the church, Brink said. About 70 percent of it has been returned, but the church still has several repairs to make, he added. 

"The last time he burglarized our church building, I arrived eight minutes after he was leaving," Brink said. "I'm fearful what would have happened had I arrived while he was in the office."

Wilson is not a member of the church, but employees have given him food in the past through the church's food bank, Brink said.

Portland police are still trying to figure out if there's any connection to other crimes in the area. A nearby seminary school was broken into twice over a three-week period, and several thousand dollars worth of music equipment was stolen last month from an Episcopal Church along Southeast Harrison.

A woman who identified herself to FOX 12 as Debbie said Wilson came to her deli to gamble after he was released from jail on Sunday morning. 

She described him as a frequent customer who often seems angry or irritated. He also often brings a lawnmower, she said.

"Shame on the court system for allowing somebody like that in our neighborhood," Debbie said.

Wilson is known to do yard work for homes in the area, neighbors said. 

One man, who said he was aware of Wilson's recent arrest, told FOX 12 that Wilson mowed his lawn on Monday. The two have never had any problems, he said.

Central Christian Church plans to install a more sophisticated video surveillance system in an effort to keep burglars away, Brink said.

Wilson is due back in court on Wednesday morning.

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