MESQUITE, Texas - A North Texas man is now behind bars after police say he burglarized at least five churches and a middle school in Mesquite.
Kevin Graf has been arrested and police are working to return the stolen items to the churches and school.
According to police, Graf is responsible for a series of burglaries between Jan. 14 and Jan. 22.
Electronic items, including computers and sound equipment, were stolen from five churches and a middle school.
Police were able to identify Graf as a suspect in these burglaries, and after serving search warrants in Dallas and Garland, they were able to recover the stolen items.
Pastors at churches, like Word of Life, will go to the police station on Thursday to hopefully recover some of the items taken from them. They are focused on grace and forgiveness toward the man accused of stealing from them.
On January 15, Pastor Morris Jackson noticed wires that power the church security system had been cut. He later discovered more damage and found someone had broken in through a window unit and then took computers and music equipment. He wasn't the only Mesquite pastor to make the discovery.
In total, police say five churches and a middle school were burglarized from January 14 to the 22. One church alone says $40,000 worth of equipment was stolen. Police say Graf is responsible for the string of crimes.
Jackson isn't using words like happiness or relief to describe his reaction to the arrest. He's simply doing what pastors do.
“Pray that as they have apprehended this young man, that he is ultimately apprehended by Christ,” the pastor said. “Otherwise, that particular behavior is going to continue.”
It's proof that while you can rob a church of its belongings, there are some things thieves cannot take.
“Even though he took some of our stuff, he couldn't take our spirit,” Jackson said. “Our commitment to Christ was unwavering. And He deserves praise and worship regardless of circumstances and situations.”
While the investigation is ongoing, police say they don't anticipate making any other arrests.
Graf remains in custody on a $600,000 bond.