UPDATE 1-16-19: An accued thief is in custody after police say he was caught in the act burglarizing and vandalizing a Raleigh church.
24-year-old Deandre Bramlett is charged with burglary of a building.
Living Life in Victory Church Pastor Henry Lavander tells Local 24 News that he had added surveillance cameras and had left lights on inside the church. Overnight, he was checking the cameras every so often. Around 2:30 Wednesday morning he noticed the lights were off, so he called police.
Bramlett was caught in the back storage area and taken into custody.
Less than a week after suffering a major blow to their church, staff members at a Raleigh church are dealing with another burglary and vandalism case.
Sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Living Life In Victory Church’s training center was ransacked. Thieves once again were after copper wiring.
“We were thinking we could get this wrapped up,” said First Lady Loree Lavender.
Staff members were working towards fixing last week’s damage by getting the alarm and security system back up and running. Workers were scheduled to come Tuesday, but before they arrived, thieves once again made their way back into the building off Old Austin Peay Highway near Raleigh LaGrange Road.
“The same thing is missing,” said Lavender. “Copper wiring. More ceilings are torn down, there are wires everywhere. Copper, of course, is what they were after. More bathrooms were damaged.”
The latest damage seems worse because whoever is responsible targeted the Children’s Ministry wing.
“To hurt the children’s area, that’s the part that hurts the most.” said Lavender. “This is where the children come to get educated. This is where we develop them into being good citizens.”
That hurt has turned to anger.
Church staff members believe whoever is responsible broke through the kitchen wall, using the same access point from last week’s vandalism spree. Because the motive is the same, they believe the same party is responsible for both incidents.
“Looking at the damage,” said Pastor Joseph McKinney, “it just looks somebody was really angry and upset.”
Right now, crews are working to restore the security system, hoping it will deter whoever is responsible.
“We haven’t slept knowing there are some people in our neighborhood who can do this, and they’re heartless,” said Lavender. “They’re just truly heartless people.”
Last week’s burglary caused an estimated $40,000 in damage. Right now, the church is working to calculate the latest damage.
If you have information about this burglary and vandalism spree, call Crimes Stopper at 901-528-CASH.