Crime & Courts

3 charged in Iredell County church break-ins

Three Statesville residents have been charged in connection with six recent church break-ins.

Iredell County sheriff’s investigators charged William Herbert Pennell IV, 24, Sean Orlando Knox, 26, and Alexandra Marie Shoemaker, 20, with six counts of breaking and entering a place of worship and three counts of larceny after the breaking and entering.

Pennell was jailed on $30,000 bail and Knox on $75,000 bail, while Shoemaker has not been found.

Pennell and Knox are convicted felons with lengthy records, Sheriff Darren Campbell said.

Pennell has been convicted of breaking and entering, larceny and possession of cocaine. Knox has been convicted of breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The first church break-in happened May 24 at South View Baptist Church on Wallace Springs Road. Nothing was stolen, as it appears the intruders left after an alarm activated, Campbell said.

On June 6, New Salem Church on New Salem Road was broken into and electronics were stolen, including TVs and video equipment from the sanctuary. Cash and a digital camera were stolen from the church office.

On June 17, St. Mark Baptist Church on Old Wilkesboro Road was broken into and a white Fender jazz guitar belonging to a church member was stolen.

The fourth break-in happened June 21 at Ablieen Church of Christ on Bell Farm Road. Someone entered the church office and emptied several drawers, but nothing was reported stolen.

On June 27, Union Chapel Baptist Church on Gays Chapel Road was broken into and electronic video equipment was stolen. The next day, Fifth Creek Presbyterian Church at 1547 Mocksville Highway was broken into, although nothing appears to have been taken, investigators said.

Sheriff’s detectives said they cracked the case by going to places where stolen property has been recovered in the past, and through witness interviews.

Anyone with information on Shoemaker’s whereabouts is asked to call sheriff’s Detective Sgts. J.G. Younts or J.B. Wyatt at 704-878-3180.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak