Friday, September 20, 2019

Man Arrested in Church Burglary

An investigation into a burglary at United Faith Church, 813 W Choctaw, led to the Aug. 27 arrest of a Sallisaw man on eight felony counts.

Records show that Bernard Louis Netz III, 27, was charged with one count of second-degree burglary and seven counts of third-degree burglary.

A Sallisaw Police Department officer was dispatched to the church Aug. 23 to dust for fingerprints. Upon arriving at United Faith, church staff showed the officer security camera video taken the night before. The footage showed a white male wearing shorts and a black hoodie. His face was covered.

Another officer informed the responding officer that he believed the man shown in the video was Bernard Netz, who had allegedly broken into the church before.

Investigators found two kick scooters, still in boxes, as well as a clear plastic bin containing several items, near the church.

Among the items missing from the church were walkie-talkies, flashlights, first-aid kits, building keys and more.

On Aug. 27, eight people called the Sallisaw Police Department to report that their vehicles had been burglarized the night before.

When officers went to arrest Netz at a home on the corner of Chickasaw and Jefferson streets, they reportedly saw clues indicating that someone had been coming in and out of the home recently, even though it was vacant.

Officers then went inside the home where they saw a pair of brown boots and a pair of blue shoes that had fresh grass on them. Believing someone was hiding in the home, officers began clearing rooms inside the house. 

Inside the bathroom, an officer discovered a white man hiding in a cabinet under the counter. The man refused to come out, so officers pulled him out of the cabinet and when he resisted, they used pepper spray on him. The man, identified as Netz, was finally arrested.

A thorough search of the scene turned up a treasure trove of property reported stolen to police. After the arrest, the stolen items were returned to their owners.

Netz was convicted in 2015 of second-degree burglary, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, petit larceny, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in presence of a minor and knowingly concealing stolen property.

Netz’s next court appearance is at 9 a.m. Oct. 2. 

The current burglary charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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