Saline Co. Sheriff's Office arrests suspect in 2 burglaries
SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - A man accused of stealing from a church in which he used to attend.
In surveillance video from Little Chapel Church in Harrisburg, you see the suspect with a distinct walk going up and down the hallways.
According to Saline County Sheriff's Office, that person is Anthony Hobbs. He is in custody following a burglary investigation.
Anthony E. Hobbs, 36, of Muddy was charged with burglary, theft over $500, residential burglary and aggravated possession of a stolen firearm.
Little Chapel Lead Pastor T.W. Norman says Hobbs actually attended the church there a while ago.
"There's been many people in our church that have had really good relationships with Anthony and I think that's what this place come from you that you care about the ones who do you wrong," Norman said.
Norman has been the lead pastor there for eight months, and during his time there, he says there hasn't been in major break-ins.
"Whenever it happened, I didn't feel angry, it was just kind of in shock I think," he said. "Is the real thing is the immediate reaction. You're just bewildered on how something like this could happen."
Hobbs is accused of stealing approximately $1400 in cash from two safes in the church along with electronic equipment.
But in the Christian spirit, Pastor Norman says the church forgives Hobbs.
"We want to be quick to model the same mercy and forgiveness to those who have done us wrong," he said. "It doesn't make it okay, or that we forget but we choose to forgive in spite whenever we are wrong."
The church is working with their insurance and contractors to fix the damages. Saline County Deputy Sheriff Ken Clore says the suspect used their shoulders to get in the doors, damaging the wall unit, doors, and locks.
"This happens more frequently than they wish, [and a] good portion of the crimes are theft and burglaries," Clore said.
The Saline County State's Attorney Jason Clark, says they are particularly concerned about this case because Hobbs is also accused of stealing firearms from a home in Eldorado.
Deputy Sheriff Clore says take precaution.
"Remind the public to lock your doors to your house, lock your car," Clore said. "Record your serial numbers to your gun. We have so many firearms stolen that people have no recollection or no record of their serial numbers on the firearm and it becomes very difficult for us to recover those."
Deputies said they are also looking for Christopher L. Dennis, 38, of Eldorado. Dennis is wanted for violation of probation.
Officials said two burglaries occurred within the past week.
The first took place at a home on College Road in Eldorado on March 19.
They said several firearms were taken including five shotguns, one rifle, and one handgun.
The second burglary was on March 26 at the Little Chapel Church on Highway 34 North in Harrisburg.
In total, officials said $1,400 in cash was taken along with an iPad, MacBook, a drawing device and a camera.
Deputies said they followed several tips from the public after a description of the suspect was released along with video from the church.
Hobbs is in the Saline County Detention Center according to deputies.
Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved