Date/Time of Offense: Sunday, December 18, 2022.
Offense(s)/Charge(s): Felony Conspire to Breaking and Entering
Felony Breaking and Entering a Place of Worship
Felony Larceny after Breaking & Entering
Misdemeanor Second Degree Trespassing
Location of Incident: Taylor Springs Baptist Church, 443 Taylor Springs Road &
Barkers Grove Baptist Church, 182 Barkers Grove Road.
Suspect(s): Two White Male suspects, both 16 Years Old.
Sheriff Darren Campbell stated: On Sunday, December 18, 2022, Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies responded to breaking and entering reports at two churches in the Union Grove area of northern Iredell County.
Members of Taylor Springs Baptist Church, located at 443 Taylor Springs Road, and Barkers Grove Baptist Church, located at 182 Barkers Grove Road, reported that both churches had been broken into, the property was damaged, and presents and Christmas cards had been stolen. The two churches are approximately two 2 miles from each other and had been secured after the morning worship services. The deputies interviewed witnesses in the area who had seen two suspicious white males earlier in the day riding skateboards and scooters on the road. These cases were assigned to Detective E. McNeely with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.
On Monday, December 19, 2022, Patrol Deputy J. Betts was on patrol in the area near the churches when he observed a juvenile male riding an electric scooter on the roadway. Deputy Betts observed the juvenile from a distance and saw the juvenile walk to a barn on a nearby farm. Deputy Betts approached the juvenile after seeing that the property the male was on was posted for no trespassing. Deputy Betts learned the juvenile was staying with another male juvenile friend in the area.
After speaking with the juvenile, Deputy Betts observed several Christmas cards lying on the ground near the barn. Deputy Betts contacted Detective McNeely to notify him of what was found. Detective McNeely responded to the scene, and it was determined that the Christmas cards belonged to members of the two churches which had been broken into.
After interviewing the male, Detective E. McNeely learned that the male and a second juvenile, both 16 years of age, were responsible for breaking into the two churches.
Detective McNeely pursued charges on both juveniles through Iredell County Juvenile Justice for Felony Conspire to Break and Enter, Two Counts of Felony Breaking and Entering a Place of Worship, Felony Larceny after Breaking and Entering, Misdemeanor Second Degree Trespassing, and Misdemeanor Littering.