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August 7, 2010

Arrest made in church burglary case

Decatur man being held

CULLMAN —   A Decatur man has been charged in connection with at least one church burglary in Cullman County.

  Other charges and arrests may be announced soon in the case, according to Sheriff Tyler Roden of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.

  Arrested Saturday and charged with burglary, third degree, was Farandus Tyrone Hurley. He is being held on a $10,000 bond in the Cullman County Jail.

  The arrest became possible through a long series of events and some cooperative efforts among law enforcement agencies in Cullman County, Hartselle and Morgan County.

  “We had had a meeting with some agencies from the surrounding area about the pharmacy burglaries, but the church burglaries were also discussed and an officer from Hartselle noted a similar pattern occurring in Morgan County,” Roden said.

  The officer from Hartselle had actually questioned a man and a woman sitting in a car near a church in Morgan County, and later it was discovered the man was Hurley.

  A tip in the investigation led detectives to a house occupied by a girlfriend of Hurley’s after it was reported that a safe had been removed from the dwelling. Investigators tracked the safe to a landfill, less than an hour after it was picked up by a sanitation truck, near Hillsboro. The safe was badly damaged and its contents had been removed.

  “One thing we discovered is that a Wal-Mart gift card had been in the safe. The card was used in a Wal-Mart in Decatur and Hurley and the woman were seen in store’s video using the card,” Roden said.

  The safe belonged to Cathedral of Praise church near West Point. Church officials were able to open the safe using their combination code, which confirmed that the safe was indeed the one that had been stolen.

  Several churches in Cullman County and Morgan County have been burglarized in recent months. The burglars were cutting through the walls of the buildings to gain access, possibly in an effort to avoid setting off alarm systems, Roden said.

  “We believe this arrest will solve the burglaries here and in Morgan County. But we are expecting that more arrests could be made in this case,” Roden said. “The investigators in this case did a tremendous job and really went the extra mile. The cooperation with the other agencies was particularly valuable in making this arrest.”

  Other churches that been broken into include New Freedom Baptist Church and Temple Baptist. The burglaries started in July.

  “We are getting some cooperation in this case from the suspect,” Roden added.

 

 

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