Caught in the act. A man is behind bars after Memphis police say he broke into a Raleigh church to steal copper wiring.
24-year-old Deandre Bramlett is charged with burglary.
This was the third time in about a week Living Life in Victory Church off Austin Peay was burglarized and vandalized.
Church members say they’d had enough, so they set a trap, in case they were hit again.
“We just had a good feeling, so we decided to put a plan together,” said First Lady Lorre Lavender of Living Life in Victory Church.
That plan paid off. Pastor Henry Lavender and his wife, Lorre, say thieves have been stripping their church’s training center of copper wiring, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Church members decided to take action. They left the lights on, installed cameras, and waited.
Around 2:30 Wednesday morning, Memphis Police were called when the pastor noticed the lights were off.
“They ran inside, the police department, and they apprehended the guy in the very act, taking copper,” Pastor Lavender said.
Police arrested and charged Deandre Bramlett with burglary.
Gregory Sanders with the Memphis Police Department said, “With the amount of damage and what’s been going on here, it’s more than one person. We think that he has some accomplices.”
MPD is investigating. In the meantime, Pastor Lavender and his congregation plan to pick up the pieces and move forward.
“We have not lost vision or hope. We are fighters and we’re a church, a church with faith,” said the Pastor.
Memphis Police believe the suspect has accomplices and the cases may be connected. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.