Police said they caught church burglars in the act before chasing and capturing them in Scott County.
Bettendorf Police were sent to a burglary alarm sounding at Pleasant View Baptist Church at 6400 Crow Creek Road just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, December 18, 2012. Officers said they saw 31-year-old Antonio Smith of Louisville, Kentucky, leaving the church and placing stolen items into a Ford Explorer when they arrived.
Police said they ordered Smith to stop but he fled in the Explorer. Police pursued Smith to Riverdale where he drove off the road and into a park. He crashed into landscaping rock and then ran from the wreck, but police said they caught him hiding nearby.
Bettendorf Police arrested Smith and a woman they found inside the Explorer. They reportedly found $4,700 worth of stolen items in the Explorer, including an electronic keyboard, electronic sound board and desk drawers.
Smith was charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree theft, second-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, eluding, interfering with an official act, speeding and striking a fixture. He was held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $22,900 bond.
His passenger, 20-year-old Velicity Minton, also of Louisville, was charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief. She was held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.
Police said there was damage to the outside and inside of the church, including damage to a safe inside the building. They estimated the property damage total at $1,600.