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Queens Chronicle

Brooklyn man busted in church burglaries

Five borough houses of worship broken into over eight-day period

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu Aug 1, 2013.

A Brooklyn man may be praying for some serious forgiveness following his arrest and arraignment for burglarizing four churches this month and attempting to break into a fifth.

David Spencer, 34, was arraigned in Queens Saturday on charges of third-degree burglary, third-degree attempted burglary, third- and fourth-degree criminal mischief, and third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, according to a statement issued on Monday by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Detectives from the NYPD’s 105th and 113th precincts investigated the case.

Spencer was ordered held on $40,000 bond by Queens Criminal Court Judge Deborah Modica. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 2.

“The defendant is accused of being a one-man crime wave and brazenly breaking into churches throughout Queens and helping himself to whatever he could find of value,” Brown said.

“The residents of Queens County can be assured that this case will be prosecuted vigorously and swiftly to ensure that justice is served,” the district attorney added.

Brown said the first reported incident took place on July 10 at United Apostolic Lighthouse Baptist Church in Springfield Gardens, where a musical keyboard valued at $3,000 was taken.

Between the night of July 12 and the afternoon of July 14, there was a break-in at Harvest Revival Baptist Church in Cambria Heights.

Another keyboard, this one valued at approximately $1,500, allegedly was reported missing to police.

Spencer also is alleged to have used a photo ID to pawn the keyboards at a Brooklyn music store.

He was reported to have received a total of $1,900 for the instruments.

In a third complaint, Spencer is alleged to have attempted to burglarize Redemption Holy Tabernacle Church in South Ozone Park at some point during the night of July 16.

A caretaker arriving at the church the next morning saw damage to the front and side doors to the church. Brown’s office said a security video allegedly showed Spencer trying to get into the building.

After failing to get into the building Spencer is alleged to have broken into Rehoboth House of Praise in Jamaica some time during the night of July 16 or early the next morning.

Upon his arrival at the church the morning of the 17th, the church’s pastor reported seeing that a flat-screen television had been removed from a wall and was lying on the floor. Another electronic musical keyboard was missing.

A fifth complaint alleges that Spencer, between the morning of July 16 and the morning of July 17, had yet another keyboard in his haul after he broke into Grace Moravian Church in Jamaica.

Brown’s office said a laptop computer, a movie projector and a sound system amplifier also were taken. The total estimated value was $1,800.

Authorities are further alleging that a comparison of fingerprints obtained from both the television at Rehoboth House of Praise and windows at Grace Moravian Church showed them to match those of David Spencer.

The District Attorney’s Office said that Spencer faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on all charges.

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