Three in custody following break-in - Catholic Courier

Three in custody following break-in

Two men and a teenager were taken into custody after being chased by police following a Jan. 17 break-in at Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects — Juan Morales, 21, of 1486 Lake Road, Hamlin; Abner Santiago, 28, of 1387 Lake Road, Hamlin; and José Morales, 16, of Strathmore Circle, Rochester — were arraigned in Perinton Town Court on one count each of third-degree burglary.

Cpl. John Helfer, public-information officer with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, said that when deputies responded to a burglary alarm at Penfield Wesleyan Church at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, the pastor described seeing a black SUV leaving the scene. Deputies linked that incident with a report from earlier in the evening of a stolen 2001 black Jeep Cherokee.

Several hours later, at 1:35 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17, deputies responding to an alarm at Church of the Resurrection observed a black Jeep matching the description and registration of the stolen vehicle driving west on Interstate 490, Helfer said. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle on Interstate 490 near Route 441, but instead of stopping, the vehicle drove east on Route 441 until it slid off the roadway and struck a utility pole, he said. The three suspects exited and ran into a swampy area, where they were located after several minutes with the help of the sheriff’s K-9 unit, Helfer said.

Helfer said deputies are continuing to investigate a number of similar church burglaries in the area, and that more charges could follow. Among the burglaries were break-ins at the following Catholic churches: Dec. 20 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Hamlin and Dec. 28 at Good Shepherd Church in Henrietta.

Officials at St. Joseph School in Penfield also reported that the school was broken into during the weekend of Jan. 15 and 16, and Helfer said his department is investigating that incident as well.

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