Police nab alleged church arsonist

Published 10:10 pm Monday, October 27, 2008

Alabaster Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for an outbreak of church burglaries.

Matthew Cassenta, 24, of Calera is being held in the Shelby County Jail on $119, 500 bond. He is being charged with multiple offenses, including burglary and arson.

Police charge that Cassenta burglarized two churches in unincorporated Shelby County, one church in Calera and that he set the Community Baptist Church in Alabaster on fire after an unsuccessful break-in. The fire caused minimal damage.

Calera Police and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are also pressing charges on Cassenta.

According Alabaster Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney, police were able to use video evidence to identify Cassenta.

“After executing a search warrant, we found other evidence in his home and his car that further indicate him in these crimes,” Rigney said.

Cassenta is currently being held at the Shelby County Jail on bond.