A Somerset man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly trying to break into a local church.
According to the Somerset Police Department, Jorge G. Escobar, 27, was charged with third-degree burglary, among several other offenses.
At 1:06 p.m. on Wednesday, police units were dispatched to the Outreach for Jesus Church located on Cotter Avenue after a neighbor reported seeing a man breaking out windows on the church’s van.
Within four minutes, officers were on the scene, but not before Escobar had used a large knife to do “significant damage” to the front door of the church in an attempt to gain entry, according to police.
The suspect also allegedly took the Kentucky registration plate from the van.
Escobar was arrested by SPD Officer Josh Wilson and charged, in addition to the burglary count, with first-degree criminal mischief, theft of a motor vehicle registration plate, and possession of burglary tools.
After his arrest, the suspect was also found to be wanted on two outstanding warrant from Pulaski District Court for failure to pay fines and appear in court.
Capt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department could not confirm if there was a connection between the suspect and the church on Thursday.
However, Smith praised the sharp eye of the resident who saw what was going on and alerted the authorities.
“From our standpoint, this crime was interrupted as a result of an attentive neighbor recognizing that something going wrong in their neighborhood and in turn called the Pulaski 911 center to get police on the way, which helped out significantly in preventing the crime from furthering more and making sure the responsible person was apprehended,” said Smith. “Based on that, it’s pretty obvious that there was wrongdoing going on when the neighbor observed Escobar breaking out windows in the church van. Sometimes it’s not as obvious but equally important when people observe suspicious behavior (to let police know).”
The investigation is continuing by SPD.