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Bar, 3 churches broken into

Published January 18. 2013 05:02PM

Two Lehigh County men are in jail after breaking into three churches and a bar Tuesday evening.

Michael Weaver, 26, and Allen Miller, 20, both of Slatington, were arraigned by District Judge David Howells Jr., and committed to Lehigh County Prison.

Weaver has been jailed in lieu of $75,000 straight bail, and Miller, in lieu of $50,000 straight bail.

Weaver is charged with five counts each of burglary, theft by unlawful taking and criminal mischief, along with four counts each of conspiracy and institutional vandalism. Miller is charged with four counts each of burglary, theft by unlawful taking, criminal mischief, conspiracy, and three counts of institutional vandalism.

The two are scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at Magisterial District Court 31-0-01 Lehigh County Courthouse, at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Slatington Police Officer Frank Gnas:

At around 11:17 p.m. Tuesday, Gnas assisted Sgt. Burke and Officer Houser with a burglary in progress at St. John's UCC Church at 40 S. Second St., according to the affidavit.

Prior to the incident, Gnas was on patrol when he observed Weaver in the area dressed all in black with a black baseball cap, and also carrying a back pack on his back. Nothing was found.

Gnas cleared from that incident with nothing further, and returned to work on Wednesday, when he was also dispatched to St. John's the Baptist Church, The Shack, Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church, and St. John's UCC Church for burglaries that occurred throughout Tuesday evening.

Gnas observed damage to each place. He then received a call from Miller, who had information regarding the burglaries.

Along with Detective Cruz of the Lehigh County Detectives Office, Gnas conducted an interview with Miller.

During the interview, Cruz and Gnas were able to obtain voluntary witness statements from Miller regarding the burglaries and Weaver's involvements.

Miller confessed to being at the listed locations with Weaver. Miller's interview did bring forth an undetermined amount of U.S. Currency that he stated he had, and that Weaver also had. Miller also led them to where the weapon was used for entry into one of the addresses.

Weaver was also interviewed by Gnas and Cruz, but denied all accounts.

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