HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — John Burcham, youth leader at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, said despite the burglary there last week, church members are feeling forgiving.
"We're disappointed," he said Friday after learning a suspect was arrested. "But we also understand God's in control. There's several instances in the Bible where something's happened but the ending is better."
A Mid-Missouri resident was charged Friday with multiple felonies connected to the thefts at Pleasant Ridge, Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said.
Bryson Skinner, 21, of California, was charged with stealing, property damage and receiving stolen property, all felonies, plus second-degree burglary. The charges are the result of two criminal investigations conducted by the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, Chism said.
A burglary investigation was conducted Oct. 13 at the Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church site under construction at 10864 Platinum Road just outside Holts Summit. Several items were stolen, including an HVAC unit and numerous construction tools, materials and equipment. Deputies followed up on leads thereafter.
Several of the stolen items were located Oct. 18 in Cole County. Skinner was arrested there and placed in the custody of the Cole County Jail for local charges.
Burcham said most of the items stolen from the construction site were not recovered.
"We got back the HVAC and some of the copper, and maybe 5-10 percent of the tools," he said, adding the tools belonged to the general contractor on the project. "The sheriff's office said there's not a great chance of us getting the rest of the tools back."
Also Oct. 18, while following up on the church burglary, Callaway County deputies responded to a property on Hickory Hills Drive outside of Fulton to conduct an investigation. There, deputies located a travel trailer reported stolen to the Boone County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 14. Law enforcement officers determined Skinner had brought the stolen trailer to that property, Chism said.
Church construction is not due to be completed until next summer, Burcham said, and there is not much more that can be done to secure the construction site.
Chism said Skinner was arrested Oct. 7 by deputies investigating a felony stealing at a business in the 2000 block of Jade Road in western Callaway County. As a result of that investigation, Skinner was held on a court-set bond of $4,500, which he had posted.
The investigation is ongoing and further arrests and/or charges are pending. The Callaway County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Cole County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson City Police Department and Holts Summit Police Department.