Sheriff Darren Campbell stated that beginning in May the Sheriff’s Office began receiving breaking and entering reports from local churches. The first occurred on May 24th, 2015 when a breaking and entering was reported at South View Baptist Church on Wallace Springs Rd. No items were taken and it appears the suspects left after the alarm was activated.
A second report was received on the night of June 6th, 2015 when New Salem Church on New Salem Rd was broken into and electronics were stolen including televisions and video equipment from the sanctuary. The suspect also entered the church office in the fellowship hall where he removed U.S. Currency and a digital camera.
A third incident occurred on June 17th, 2015 when St. Mark Baptist Church on Old Wilkesboro Rd was broken into and a white Fender Jazz Guitar that belonged to a member of the church was taken.
A fourth incident came on June 21st, 2015 when a suspect broke a window at Ablieen Church of Christ on Bell Farm Rd. The suspect entered the church office and emptied several drawers but nothing was reported as stolen.
On June 27th, 2015 a fifth incident came in from Union Chapel Baptist Church on Gays Chapel Rd where it was reported that suspects broke in and stole electronic video equipment.
The following day on June 28th, 2015 a sixth report was filed when Sgt. J.V. Dyson was doing a security check of Fifth Creek Presbyterian Church when he located an Open window on the church. Sgt. J.V. Dyson along with other Deputies of the Criminal Enforcement Division checked the interior of the church but the suspect was already gone. There were several drawers and filing cabinet that had been rummaged through.
In these cases the Iredell County Criminal Investigations division was assigned to investigate. In each case all available evidence was collected at the scenes along with attempts to locate any potential witnesses. Despite multiple interviews and the processing of physical evidence no suspect could be initially identified.
Detectives began to concentrate on the stolen property. Detectives went to known locations and sources where property had been recovered in the past. The search was made more difficult without the benefit of serial numbers. After hours of looking through records and trying to identify property that could be stolen Detectives located some of the stolen goods from two breaking and entering reports.
After it was confirmed that Detectives had the stolen property Det. Sgt. J. Wyatt and Det. Sgt. J. Younts were able to identify additional witnesses and a suspect. During the investigation and interviews two people were identified as possessing the stolen goods. Often time’s stolen property changes hands multiple times before it can be tracked back to the offender who stole the items.
In this case the evidence indicates that William Herbert Pennell IV, Sean Orlando Know, and Alexandra Marie Shoemaker were involved in the multiple breaking and entering cases of Churches in Iredell County.
Pennell has a lengthy criminal history which includes charges for assaults, drug offences and Breaking and Entering Charges. Specifically Pennell is a convicted felon with six prior convictions for Felony Breaking and Entering, one conviction for Felony Larceny and a conviction for Felony Possession of Cocaine.
Knox also has a lengthy criminal history which includes charges for Burglary, Breaking and Entering, and Drug offenses. Knox is also a convicted felon with convictions and/or pleas to a lesser offence for six counts Felony Breaking and Entering, two counts Felony Possession of Stolen Goods, one count Felony Larceny and one count Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.
Based on the evidence warrants were issued for William Pennell IV, Sean Orlando Knox and Alexandra Marie Shoemaker for six Counts Breaking and Entering a Place of Worship and three counts Larceny after the Breaking and Entering.
Pennell was located and arrested and received a 30,000.00 secured bond. The investigation is still on going and additional charges are expected once all the evidence is gathered. Detectives are still working to determine how much Breaking and Entering this group is responsible for. In addition those who possessed stolen goods or aided this group could face criminal charges including Breaking and Entering.
Know was also located by deputies and arrested and placed Iredell County Jail under a $75,000 secured bond.
Authorities are attempting to locate Shoemaker anyone with additional information about these break-ins is asked to contact Detective Sergeant J.G. Younts or Detective Sergeant J.B. Wyatt at (704) 878-3180.