Suspects behind bars after burglarizing churches in Pen Argyl

Walter Perez Image
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Suspects behind bars after burglarizing churches in Pen Argyl
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Suspects behind bars after burglarizing churches in Pen Argyl. Watch the report from Walter Perez on Action News at 4:30 p.m. on July 2, 2019.

PEN ARGYL, Pa. (WPVI) -- Surveillance video captured the scene as two men broke into and burglarized St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church in Pen Argyl very early Monday morning.

By the time church employees arrived for work, several windows had been smashed, cabinets had been ransacked, and doors busted open.

Monsignor Vincent York says witnessing the damage took his breath away.

"When these kinds of things happen you feel violated and you feel very vulnerable." Msgr. York said.

It turns out that several other vehicles and properties in town had been burglarized as well, including nearby St. Peter's Church.

Then late Monday night, a Slate Belt Regional Police Officer approached a suspicious looking vehicle on the outskirts of Pen Argyl.

"The officer approached the vehicle and ended up getting a consent search for inside that vehicle and found three people inside with a stolen handgun," Chief David Allen Mettin said.

The men inside that vehicle have been identified as Reynaldo, Marcelino, and Luis Sepulveda - three brothers from Allentown. They were all arrested on the weapons charge, but they have since been named suspects in the burglaries, with the third brother allegedly serving as the driver of the getaway car.

People who live in Pen Argyl say they're happy about the arrests, but they admit that crimes like these, especially in small, quiet towns, are a sign of the times.

Sue Brobst, who lives across the street from the church, says, "It is a nice quiet town, for the most part. Any more, it's no matter where you go, you're hearing this stuff all over."

Neighbor Heather Craig agrees, saying, "It's like that everywhere these days and even in great towns you'll find a few bad people who want to do bad things and there's nothing you can really do about it."

No word yet on a possible motive.