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Thief Baptized Self After Breaking into Church

A man from Georgia allegedly broke into a Florida church and took a dip in the pool meant for baptism ceremonies before reportedly stealing items from the house of worship.

On August 4, an employee at the Emerald Beach Church of God in Panama City Beach was working when they heard the loud crash of a breaking window, and she quickly ran outside.

The authorities were notified, and deputies accompanied by a K9 officer from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office went to the church to investigate.

When they arrived, they surveyed the area and believed the alleged intruder used a cinder block to break a window to get in. They surmised that was the noise the woman heard when she was working.

Money bags, a computer, and a television were reportedly missing from the church, and the suspect was accused of swiping them. When they spoke to the man about the situation, the officers reported that he told them he used the pool to baptize himself. He also allegedly said it felt like something was holding him under the water during the self-performed ceremony.

As seen in the body-worn camera footage, while the officers inspected the inside of the church, the K9 provided a bit of comic relief by taking a swim in the pool.

The man, who was out on bond from an unrelated burglary case, was taken into custody and booked into the Bay County Jail. He is facing charges on suspicion of burglary of an occupied structure, criminal mischief, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to reports, the suspect, who allegedly caused an estimated $8,000 worth of damage, is no longer in custody.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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