NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s been an intriguing development in the case of a South Nashville church that has reportedly been burglarized seven times by the same burglar since June of 2020.
The burglar has broken into Citipointe Church in Lennox Village off Nolensville Road repeatedly in the last 18 months.
The last incident happened October 9 at around 4 a.m.
Aaron Davis is the pastor of operations at the church. He was also a Maury County detective from 2002 – 2006.
“It’s frustrating to have the same guy breaking into your building every time,” he said.
Davis says the bandit broke out windows, broke locks, stole computers and caused thousands of dollars in damage and thefts.
On October 9, Davis showed News 2 video of the bandit going through the church, rummaging around in the cafeteria and taking a computer near the sound board.
Video shows the perpetrator walking around the outside of the church with a computer under his arm.
By the time Metro police arrived at the front of the church, the bandit saw the officers and runs away.
In the video, he no longer had the computer under his arm.
Davis says he thought the thief got scared and dropped the computer, so he retraced his steps looking for the stolen merchandise.
Davis found the computer and other clues in a play area behind the church that is currently off limits to church members.
In a video shot by Davis, you can hear him narrating as he walks toward a rear gate that is locked.
“You can see there is one of our computer mouses, a screw driver and there’s his phone right there,” Davis said in the interview.
The video shows the items laying on the grass.
Davis, meanwhile, was amazed by his discovery.
“I got him. I knew that he dropped his phone, obviously in a panic trying to think what he is going to do, with the police out front, hopped the fence. He came down and his phone popped out,” Davis said.
Davis called Metro police who seized the phone and other evidence.
Then something crazy happened a few hours later.
According to Davis, “This guy walks from the neighborhood here in Lennox Village and walks up the sidewalk and down the side of our building and there would be no reason to go down the side of our building.”
Davis showed News 2 video of a young man in shorts, a hat on backwards and a mask. The man was walking along the side of the church toward the prohibited area behind the church where Metro police seized the evidence.
Before he could get to the locked gate, Pastor Davis’ wife saw the man and asked him what he was doing.
Davis says, “She yelled out ‘what are you doing?’ And he looked up and said ‘did you guys have a break in last night?’ And the only people who would know that are me. I responded to the call and the police responded to the call. Nobody else would know that.”
According to Davis the man began a series of falsehoods that include claiming he is a church member whose daughter attends Mother’s Day Out. According to Davis, the man said he lost his phone in the rear playground a few days earlier when getting his daughter. The man says he then used iPhone tracker to track it to the church.
Again Davis told News 2 no church members, and certainly no children, have been in this prohibited area.
Davis said the man was not a member of the church and the child was not listed in the Mother’s Day Out program.
Additionally, Davis said the man used two different names while talking to him.
News 2 asked Davis, “Would anyone from your church or the community have any way to lose a phone here?”
Davis responded, “Not unless they hopped the fence.”
While talking to the man, trying to get as much information as possible, Pastor Davis snuck a video of the man. The former Maury County detective told News 2 he was positive the man was the burglar.
Because the man has not been charged, News 2 is not revealing the man’s identity or name.
On the video Davis shot, there was a brief clip between the two men. The following conversation could be heard.
Davis: “Yeah, nice to meet you as well.”
Man: “Hopefully I will see you on Sunday.”
Davis: “Alright I’d love to…”
Man: “I come, it’s kind of spotty when I come to be honest with you…”
News 2 asked Davis if he might have helped solve his own crime?
“Maybe. The totality of the circumstances seem to be pointing to him as a major person of interest,” he said.
According to Pastor Davis, the cell phone he found is now in police custody and they are working to analyze it.
According to Davis, Metro police called the young man who Davis is sure is the church burglar. Davis said the man told Metro Police he is not the burglar.
The investigation continues.