Metro Police seek church burglary suspect

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A pastor, once a former Maury County Sheriff’s deputy, said it’s time to catch a thief that has been breaking into his Antioch church and change his criminal ways.

The latest violation took place Friday morning around 3 a.m. at the Citipointe Church on Lords Chapel Drive in Antioch.

“I think there’s a place for accountability and there’s a place for forgiveness,” said Pastoral Director Aaron Davis.

Before ministering at the church, the 45-year-old Davis was a deputy with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department where Davis routinely dealt with bandits like the one preying on his church.

“If I could have a face to face with this guy, we could talk out his background and why he does what he does. I’ve had those conversations many times with prisoners and people I myself have put in prison,” said Davis.

Over the last year, Davis said the back pack wearing bandit has broken into the 60,000 square foot church at least five times. He has caused thousands in vandalism, breaking locks, and glass. And he has stolen multiple laptops and other electronic equipment costing the church thousands of dollars.

Davis supplied News 2 with surveillance from this most recent crime. The perpetrator is seen approaching a rear door just before 3 a.m. He tries to pry open the door. When that fails, he pulls out a hammer, and smashes the glass. He enters the church, breaking other locks inside. Video surveillance shows him with a flashlight searching classrooms in the children’s wing. When he doesn’t find any valuables, he exits through the front doors and walks out of camera range.

Davis said the vandalism and lost equipment is putting a deep financial strain on the congregation already struggling during a pandemic.

“It costs money, and in a time right now where COVID has caused churches all over Nashville and the country to struggle, it has caused a lot of difficulty,” said Davis. “People are not coming as much, and they are not giving as much, and they are concerned about their own economy and then you have something like this happen and it creates unnecessary expense. People who are giving in a time when they don’t have much are giving to support their church and keep their church open and him doing stuff like this takes funds away from necessary stuff.”

When asked what the former deputy now current pastor would say to the thief, Davis didn’t hesitate: “I’d arrest him.”

The current man of the cloth who once wore the badge said being a lawman turned minister comes with its challenges.

“Accountability accounts for something. People often, if they continue to get away with things, will continue to get away with them. And it’s not till they are confronted with the error of their ways that there is change,” said Davis. “It creates a bit of conflict inside of you when you have your background in law enforcement and ministry, because there a side of you that wants to forgive and there’s a side of you that goes ‘yeah,’ but without accountability we have the same type of things happening all the time. So as a pastor, now it creates a conflict for sure.

Metro Police are working the crimes. It is unknown if this burglar is a suspect in other business burglaries.

Anyone with information on this crime or other crimes can call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME or you can submit a tip online by clicking here. You may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.

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