Church Burglary Arrests

Thirty-one-year-old Shuan Roberts and 25-year-old Daniel Kelleston have been charged with the December burglary of First United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. During the burglary $20,000 worth of items were stolen including a TV camera, VCR and DVD players, chairs, a painting and many other things.

Earlier this month some of the items were found in a volunteer fire department parking lot.

"Investigators say the two suspects say they returned some of the items because they were feeling guilty. The note read as such:

'Preacher, all people of the church. I would like to apologize for taking these belongings, which are yours. Please forgive me. Also I pray the Lord can…'

And then two scriptures followed on the letter, one which talked about what a thief should do, Ephesians 4:28 and another talking about forgiveness, Collossians 3: 13 - 15.

Police say a tip led to the arrests and the recovery of many of the church's stolen items, which were found Robert's rental home. However, investigators say that's not all that was found. A number of stolen items from a furniture store were also discovered.

"Once we served this warrant, we fond things identified from the store that M&F Furniture didn't even know was missing," says Chief David Edwards.

Investigators say at this time there's no indication that the two were trying to sell the items, but instead using them in the house for personal use.

Meanwhile, Chief Edwards says the two are facing a stiff penalty.

"A church burglary carries an enhanced penalty, up to 14 years in the state penitentiary versus seven years for a regular burglary.

Both Roberts and Kelleston are now being held in the Neshoba County jail on $50,000 bond each.


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