An Anacoco man was arrested Friday for breaking into a local church and stealing cash from a donation box, according to authorities.
Jonathan YBarra Enriquez, 25, was charged with simple burglary and theft of a church, as well as domestic abuse after he led authorities on a late night chase through the Leesville area.
According to Sheriff Sam Craft, the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call on Thursday reporting that Crystal Springs Baptist Church had been burglarized. Craft said deputies found a window air conditioning unit had been removed from a window of the church, which they believed allowed the suspect to gain entry into the building.
In addition to stealing cash from the donation box, deputies found evidence that led them to believe the suspect had eaten snacks and slept inside the church.
Deputies were unable to find anyone suspicious in the area during their patrols, but Craft said that hours later his office received a complaint regarding a domestic abuse battery incident in the parking lot of an Anacoco store.
The victim told deputies she had been assaulted by Enriquez, and that he had forcibly stolen cash from her before fleeing the area on foot.
Craft said as deputies searched the area for Enriquez, they learned family members had transported him to Leesville. “Deputies were able to locate Enriquez’s family members, but they refused to cooperate with the investigation,” Craft said.
Deputy Ricky Stephens later found evidence that suggested Enriquez had entered a business in the Berry Town Shopping Center and had fled out the back door.
Stephens then deployed his K9 partner Duke, a bloodhound, who successfully tracked Enriquez southwest of the area across U.S. 171 where deputies were able to capture him.
Enriquez was initially arrested and charged with domestic abuse battery and simple robbery, but during questioning by Det. David Vance, Craft said Enriquez admitted to burglarizing the church and stealing the collection box money.
Craft said the money stolen was being collected for the church’s building fund.
Enriquez was additionally charged for the church burglary and booked into the Vernon Parish jail. As of Tuesday, no bond had been set.
Craft said the capture of Enriquez marked the 93rd capture of K9 Duke’s career.