Suspected church burglar sought in Denver; Caught on camera

Series of church break-ins in SE Denver reported

DENVER - Denver police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who stole sound equipment from a church. They say he could be connected to a series of church break-ins in Southeast Denver.

"It's in a very short period of time, multiple crimes with the same m.o., targeting churches," said Sonny Jackson, a spokesman for Denver police.

Jackson said it happened at about 12:30 p.m., March 21, at the Korean Christian Church at 1495 S University Blvd. The church was occupied and open for church business during the theft. 

The man can be seen on surveillance video, covering his face with a piece of foam.

"He used the foam to cover the camera and then turned it," said David Lee, the church's education director.

That might have worked, Lee said, if there weren't other cameras throughout the church that captured clear images of the thief's face.

Another camera shows the man walking down the hall with the youth group's bass amplifier in his hand.

The suspect observed in the church is a white man, about 5-foot-7 inches to 5-foot-9 inches tall, with short, dark hair and a medium build.  He was wearing dark pants, dark shoes, and a light colored shirt.

He had numerous tattoos on his forearms.

There have been numerous burglaries of churches in southeast Denver where sound equipment that has been stolen.  Police said this suspect may be responsible for them as well.

According to police, these are the churches in District Three hit by burglars since the beginning of the year: Higher Ground Christian, St. Vincent de Paul, Holy Protection Church, Calvary Temple, Platte Park and Korean Christian Church.

"In these cases, we've seen everything stolen from iPods to computers, and in some cases the burglar broke into the cash box," said Jackson. "The detectives strongly believe it could be one individual, and if we can identify him from the video, we may be able to determine if he was involved in the other burglaries."

Meanwhile, Lee said, the Korean Christian Church has increased security in case the burglar decides to come back.

"He left some of the equipment because the door locked behind him, and he couldn't get back in," said Lee. "If he came to our church and said 'I  am the one who did it,' I think our congregation would embrace him. I think our people would forgive him and do what we can to try to help him."

If you have information on the man's identity, call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).   Or send a text to 274637 (CRIMES) with the subject "DMCS" and enter your message. Callers can remain anonymous. The tip line is answered 24 hours a day. 7 days a week

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