The sheriffs of Lexington and Newberry counties announced that a rash of church break-ins have been solved with the arrests of 18-year-old Kayla Ann Graydon of Chapin; 20-year-old Patrick Burton Olvey of Gilbert; and 20-year-old James Richard Osborne of Little Mountain.
Newberry Sheriff Lee Foster says, “They did go into some other buildings that were in Lexington County, but we have cleared all of the church break-ins that we have had recently.”
Foster told South Carolina radio network affiliate WKDK that he was concerned that the crimes would escalate, “Anybody that would stoop so low as to break into the Lord’s house would eventually start doing more bold and more violent things, so it was important that we got these people off the streets.”
The break-in took a toll on the faith communities in the area, as the alleged burglars broke into six churches in Lexington, Newberry and Calhoun counties.
The case was solved by an observant patrol officer who remembered stopping the suspects’ car, says Foster.
Deputies say that it appears that the sole motive for the crimes was theft of money or items easily converted to money to purchase marijuana and live-in hotels.
Pastor David Tholstrup of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church says that he hopes this would be a time that the suspects would change their lives. Other church leaders urged members of the community to participate even more in crime watch efforts.