Two Arrested in Hartford Church Burglary
The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people this week accused of stealing from a church.
Investigators say the break-in happened at the Hartford Assembly of God in June. Church members say it is not the first time they have had something stolen.
“When we came in we noticed that the windows were broken out here in the back,” said Mary Shankle Roberts, a church member.
Shankle Roberts grew up attending the church. Investigators say the suspects stole a $400 bass guitar.
“It feels like you’re personally invaded because this is where I worship three times a week,” said Shankle Roberts.
Investigators arrested Justin Wilkerson, 18, and Dakota Ham, 18, on burglary charges.
“They brought them in. They made their confession,” said Investigator Philip Pevehouse.
Pevehouse says Hartford police found the guitar at a pawn shop near Mansfield, less than 10 miles from where it was reported stolen.
“Lookin’ for a way to make some money, pretty sad,” said Pevehouse.
The church says this is their third break-in over the past year. “It’s a lack of respect for God,” said Shankle Roberts.
Members say once they are able to get the guitar back, someone will take it home with them after services.
Church members say Hartford has had dozens of burglaries over the past year. They are having a town meeting Thursday night at the fire department to try and put a stop to it. Residents say the county judge and sheriff are scheduled to attend the meeting.