Church burglary suspects charged

During last Wednesday's prayer service, Auburn Heights Baptist Church pastor, the Rev. Wayne Scarborough, prayed that items taken during a burglary of the church gymnasium early Wednesday would be recovered through pawn shops and within three days, church secretary Karen Nia said Monday.

Friday, Phenix City Police arrested three men in connection with the burglary of the church located at 4207 Auburn Road. They also recovered all or nearly all of the items reported taken, according to a news release from the department's Criminal Investigation Division. Nia said the arrests and recoveries were a result of video taken at the pawn shops that included video of suspects and of a vehicle tag.

Charged with third-degree burglary are Gregory Allen Horton Jr., 21; Michael Carry Johnson, 22; and Jonathan Adam Horton, 21. Their addresses were not released. A Russell County Jail official said the jail also does not releases addresses of suspects.

Nia said during the first burglary of the church gym Tuesday night or early Wednesday, audio-visual equipment such as TVs, CD and DVD units, a duplicating CD machine and computers were taken. The following night she said burglars entered the church and took her computer, five or six microphones, mixers and a couple of other computers.

Police viewed video from one or two pawn shops to help identify suspects and a vehicle, Nia said.

"The pastor prayed boldly that the items would be recovered and God answered the prayer boldly," said Nia, adding that the church body is praying for the burglars.