On Wednesday in Seymour, IN, two teenagers were arrested as the suspects of an incident involving a church that was broken into and desecrated in November.
18-year-old Shawn Battice and a 16-year-old unnamed adolescent allegedly used the double doors in the back of the Seymour First Presbyterian Church to illegally enter the building in the early morning hours of November 24. They stole the money out of a collection box in the basement, and then located five fire extinguishers which were affixed throughout the church. The pair discharged the extinguishers into the basement, youth recreation room, sanctuary and choir room, covering the organ, furniture and pianos with the contents, according to Seymour Police Department Detective Sgt. C.J. Foster. A church trustee reported that the total damage caused was assessed at nearly $10,000.
An official investigation led authorities to the teenagers, and they were taken into custody on Wednesday evening. When Battice was interviewed by detectives he said that he and the 16-year-old did in fact enter the church without consent, and that they stole money and used the fire extinguishers to cause the damage.
Battice and his accomplice have been charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief. Battice, though he was only 17 at the time of the incident, will be tried as an adult. He remains in Jackson County Jail with no bond.
The 16-year-old is being held in the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center and has an added charge for obstruction of justice. The teenager allegedly attempted to destroy his cellphone that was believed to contain evidence pertaining to the occurrence.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.