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home : news : lakelands & beyond August 23, 2017

3/27/2017 4:14:00 PM
Three arrested for breaking into church stealing electronics & instruments

On Thursday, it was discovered that someone had entered Macedonia Lutheran Church in Prosperity. The suspects had gone inside and had gone through several offices as well as the sanctuary. The suspects took several items from inside the church including electronics and musical instruments. 

Investigators from the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office canvased the entire area around the church as well as started contacting other area law enforcement agencies to exchange information. Based on that hard work, investigators received information that the suspects were attempting to sell the stolen items in the Chapin area. 

Acting on this information, Friday afternoon (March 24) investigators went to the suspect’s residence located on Macedonia Church Road. Based on that follow up investigation, investigators were able to confirm the suspects involvement in the burglary as well as locate the majority of the stolen items and a small quantity of meth (less than 1 gram) inside the home. 

Sheriff Lee Foster said that the arrest was made based upon information they had received, forensic evidence matching the suspects to the scene, and the recovery of much of the stolen property. 

“This is another example of what allows Newberry County to enjoy one of the highest clearance rates in South Carolina,” said Sheriff Lee Foster. “The investigators went out into the community and used both their knowledge and relationships in the community as well as their relationships with other agencies to gain the knowledge needed to solve this most despicable crime. It takes years of working in a community to build these kinds of relationships but it is essential to effective law enforcement and community partnerships.” 

“I would also point out that the investigators did not simply rely on those partnerships alone,” Sheriff Foster continued. “They were able to gather forensic evidence at the scene that would prove a link between the suspects and the crime scene. Law enforcement is now a world when community knowledge, forensics, and technology must work in unison to be effective. I am proud that we have been able to build each of these aspects into a highly effective law enforcement agency standing with our citizens to make Newberry County safer and better.” 

Three suspects were taken in custody. All three suspects are charged with Burglary 2nd Degree, Grand Larceny, Possession of Meth, and Possession of Drug Paraphilia. They are identified as: 

Jenna Lee Coons, 22, of 1616 St. Peters Church Road, Chapin, SC. 

Joey Kenneth Donovan, 27, 6183 Macedonia Church Road, Prosperity, SC 

Drake Adam Johnson, 28, of 6183 Macedonia Church Road, Prosperity, SC 

Bond was set at $76,000 on each suspect. All three suspects are still in custody at the Newberry County Detention Center as of Monday morning at the time of this release.

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