Suspect arrested in church burglary - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Suspect arrested in church burglary

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Black River Falls (Press Release from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office) - On May 2, 2012 authorities from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office arrested a 22 year old Trempealeau County man in a burglary investigation of the South Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, located in the Town of North Bend in Jackson County. The man is also suspected in another incident at the church reported on April 30.

Officials report arresting PHILLIP L REBICH of Arcadia, in connection to two incidents, one a burglary and the other of theft, as REBICH remains incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail without bond.

The first incident at the Church was reported to the Sheriff's Office on April 30. At this time deputies were informed that someone had stolen items from outside the church that basically consisted of copper piping. Church officials found copper wire stripped from weather vanes and air conditioners at the Church.

A burglary to the Church was then discovered and reported on May 1. Once again Sheriff's deputies responded and took a report as well as collected evidence at the scene. In this incident a burglary to the church had occurred as the alleged suspect forced entry to the church.

In this burglary many religious items such as  Communion Chalices and candle holders and  Communion plates were taken as cross's from the alter of the church were stolen as well.

The involved suspect had also allegedly stripped cooper wire from inside the Church before departing in this incident as well. Officials found that the suspect had entered the Church by breaking out a window to the building.

In a release to the media, Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera voiced his discontent as well as praise for the investigating  officers. Sheriff Waldera commented stating "What type of person would actually break into house of worship and steal from a congregation?" "The officers in this case did a fine job in apprehending this suspect, and that makes me happy and relieved as well"", the Sheriff concluded.

Sheriff authorities report that on Monday, April 2, PHILLIP REBICH attempted to scrap the items that he had allegedly taken in the burglary from the Church. Chief McHugh of the Holmen Police Department arrested REBICH when REBICH arrived at a local salvage yard trying to sell the religious articles.

Contact was then made with Jackson County officials and REBICH was taken to the Jackson County Jail.

In an interrogation with deputies, REBICH confessed to breaking into the church and stealing the religious articles as well as copper wire. REBICH stated he did so because he wanted to pay some bill. REBICH also told investigators that he wasn't a very religious person.

REBICH is expected to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court to answer to several felony counts connected with this crime.

Sheriff Waldera wishes to take this opportunity to alert all County residents that scrap material prices are high and the Sheriff's Office is investigating an increasing number of thefts and burglaries involving scrape metals.

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