SLIDELL- El Bethel Apostolic Ministry is thanking God for answered prayers Thursday after three people were arrested for burglarizing the church's new building construction site.
“We're happy about it, but we're sad about it for someone to take it to such an extreme to steal from a church," said Iris Anderson, a church goer, "especially one trying to be built."
The case took a strange turn when the suspects were discovered to be a couple and their daughter, who lived less than a mile away from the church and in the same neighborhood as the church's pastor. The St. Tammany Sheriff's Office says music equipment, water coolers and other electronics were taken in two separate burglaries over a three-day period.
“As it unfolded, find out the step-dad waits in the car while the mom and daughter carries the equipment out of the church and into the car, then sells it right down the street," said Sheriff Jack Strain. "You would say funny, but there's really no laughing matter here."
A home on Brookter Road is where the sheriff's office says the suspects sold the stolen property at a yard sale and on craigslist. That's the property the sheriff's office is now asking you to help them find, which includes generators and speakers.
Detectives are also looking for a final 'person of interest' in the case, known only as "Beaux."
Property Crimes Detective Jason Dammon said, “As far as right now, ‘Beaux’ resides somewhere in Picayune. Picayune P.D. is assisting us in this matter and hopefully we'll be able to wrap this up soon."
Despite suffering this loss, along with damage from Katrina and Isaac, and dealing with delays in this construction, the church is putting its prayer priorities on the suspects.
The sheriff's office wants to alert anyone who may have purchased the remaining missing items that they are now in possession of stolen property. Deputies are asking for the property to be returned to avoid prosecution.