Pair accused of burglarizing Central Bridge church
CENTRAL BRIDGE Two men have been charged with burglarizing a Schoharie County church in January, state police said Monday.
One of them allegedly wore a devil mask to conceal his identity.
The break-in happened early Jan. 27 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Church Street in Central Bridge, police said.
The burglars forced their way into the church then caused an estimated $18,000 in damage to several doors, cabinets and locks while looking for items to steal, police said.
They are accused of stealing about $160 and two backpacks from the Boy Scout Troop 46, which stores items at the church. Also stolen was about $40 from the church Family History Center.
Police soon identified the suspects as 18-year-old Roger Graham and 26-year-old Justin Pethick, both of Central Bridge.
Graham was arrested Feb. 4 and Pethick on Feb. 20. Both were charged with third-degree burglary, a felony. They were arraigned and ordered held. Pethick also was charged with petty larceny and violation-level unlawful possession of marijuana.
State police say it was Pethick who wore the devil mask during the burglary. His petty larceny charge stems from an unrelated incident at the Apple Food and Grocery, where he is accused of stealing tobacco and cigarettes while he was employed there, police said.
Pethick is on parole through February 2015, police said. State records show Pethick was convicted in Schenectady County in 2007 of two attempted burglary counts. He was sentenced to 18 months to three years in state prison .
The state police were assisted by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and the Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office.