Police arrest adult, four juveniles for burglaries

Special to the Reporter

Charges have been filed against one adult and four juveniles as the result of an investigation into numerous church and business burglaries in and around the Chelsea area of Shelby County.

According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department,

18-year-old Johnathan Daniel Bentley of Harpersville has been charged with two counts of third degree burglary and is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $20,000 total bond.

Petitions for burglary have been also signed on four juveniles for their involvement in the burglaries.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, investigators began their investigation on Oct. 2 with the reported burglary of the New Life Assembly of God church on Highway 280 in Westover.

Additional burglaries were subsequently reported at The Country Store in Sterrett, CJ’s Country Store in Columbiana, Mount Zion Church in Westover, K-Springs Church and Pleasant Valley Church both in Chelsea.

It was noted by the department that all of the burglaries were reported to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Oct. 6 with thefts of musical instruments, electronics, cash and consumable goods being among the items stolen.

Also during the course of the investigation three other churches (two in Shelby County and one in St. Clair County) were identified as locations of unreported burglaries.

Also according to the Sheriff’s Department, investigators recovered a large amount of stolen property from the burglaries and are continuing their efforts to recover more.

&uot;The message we want young people to hear is that any criminal activity, whether seemingly harmless pranks or more serious crimes, will not be tolerated, and that the law provides for specific consequences for those criminal acts,&uot; said Shelby County Sheriff James Jones.

Jones continued, &uot;We also want to send the message that we will devote whatever resources are necessary to identify and bring to justice those who ‘cross the line.’ We will insure the safety and security of the communities we serve.&uot;