Man steals from Darby church, passes pastor on road

DARBY, Pa. - October 23, 2013

The footage shows the suspect inside Christ Temple Church on 27 South 5th Street overnight Saturday.

Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe says the jacket seen on the suspect is worth noting.

"This coat that he's wearing that is very graphic. It has a lot of graphic designs on it. If you're walking down the street, this coat's going to stand out," Smythe said.

It wouldn't be long before the man in the distinctive jacket would emerge carrying a whole load of electronic equipment from the church's audio-visual room and walk out a back door.

What the suspect didn't know at the time was he triggered a silent alarm and the alarm company notified police and the church pastor.

The pastor was on his way to the church around 1:45 a.m. when he saw a man walking by carrying all the items.

"It was funny to see someone carrying stuff at that time so I called my wife and I told her," Pastor Timothy Babatunde said.

The pastor had no idea he had just seen the man that had burglarized his church and that was all his things the suspect was carrying.

"I was cracking jokes with my wife, but he was the one carrying my stuff," Babatunde said.

What's worse is that after the pastor and police left the church, the man came back for seconds and took more items.

"He needs help and a lot of people need help around here," Babatunde said.

Police believe the man is responsible for burglarizing three churches, the Darby Free Library, and a number of homes all in the Third Ward within the last 2½ weeks.

"We've had numerous burglaries in the last 2½ weeks which is unusual; we usually don't have these many burglaries," Smythe said.

Police believe that someone is going to recognize the suspect just by the coat alone that he was wearing.

Anyone with information on his identity and whereabouts is being asked to call Darby police.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.