GONZALES, La -- A 25-year-old man from Gonzales was arrested for the burglary of a church in Ascension Parish.
In the late evening hours of Oct. 10, 2011 the Sheriff’s uniform patrol division responded to a burglar alarm at St. John Catholic Church. Upon arrival deputies spoke to an individual in the parking lot who advised that he was asked by church members to check the buildings after the alarm was triggered.
The individual, identified as Mitchell Lynch, was known by one of the responding deputies as a parishioner of St. John Catholic Church. As the deputy’s further checked to confirm the church premises was secure Lynch had left the scene.
The deputy’s investigation revealed that the burglar alarm was a result of an attempted burglary after finding an office door open that was closed prior the alarm. Upon finding the open door deputies noted a strong odor of marijuana. During the course of the burglar alarm investigation deputies learned that there was no forced entry into the church and suspected they may be searching for someone who had a key to the church offices. It was further discovered that Lynch was not asked by the church to check the buildings security nor had authority to have church keys.
Investigating deputies also had previous knowledge that the church had suffered a burglary several days prior where multiple cameras, I-pads, and cell phones were reported stolen. Armed with this information deputies began searching for Lynch for questioning and located him a short time later at a local convenient store. Pursuant to questioning Lynch confessed to the attempted burglary the night of October 10, 2011.
Deputies then searched Lynches vehicle and located St. John Church keys and the items that were stolen from the church several nights prior. Additionally, they recovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a handgun from the vehicle.
On Oct. 10, 2011 Mitchell Lynch, 25, of 38211 Highway 621 Gonzales, Louisiana was arrested and charged with one count of attempted simple burglary of a church, one count of simple burglary of a church, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and illegal carrying of a weapon. He is currently incarcerated on a $50,000 bond set by Judge Ralph Tureau.