East Alton church vandalized; man held for burglary

Earlier this month an East Alton man was charged with one count of felony burglary for breaking into a local church.

A 21-year-old male is being held as a possible suspect after authorities searched his home and allegedly found evidence linking him to the incident.

According to police reports, local authorities received a vandalism complaint and were dispatched to investigate the location. Police arrived at the Greater Alton Church on E. Airline Drive.

Upon arrival, police discovered that multiple fire extinguishers were discharged and sprayed over the chairs in the auditorium. In addition to the fire extinguishers being used, it is reported that a substance that appeared to be fabric softener was poured onto the floors and two coffee thermoses were broken.

The young man detained by police allegedly possessed an item taken from the church. At the time of the initial report, the man was being held in custody. His bond was set at $40,000.

To commit a felony burglary in Illinois, an individual must:

  1. Enter a premises, motor vehicle, aircraft, railroad car or watercraft without permission from the property owner, and;
  2. Intend to steal something from the property

To be found guilty, prosecutors must prove both of the above conditions, which is not always easy.

It is unknown what item the man had hat police believe linked him to the incident. It is this item that elevated the charges to a felony. A person who is found guilty of felony burglary can be punishable up to seven years in jail or as much as four years' probation for a first offense.

Source: KSDK.com, "Jeffrey Priesmeyer II, suspected church vandal, apprehended," Kevin Held, April 5, 2012

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