Evans teen gets prison for burglary of church
An Evans teen was sentenced to prison June 13 for his part in a November burglary of Wesley United Methodist Church in Evans.
Blaze Elijah Houk, 18, of Ridge Crossing, received 10 years for burglary and five years each for two counts of entering an auto, according to court documents.
The auto sentences, from a separate incident but listed in the same indictment, will be served concurrent with the burglary sentence. He will serve five years in state prison and five years on parole for those charges, and pay restitution, according to court documents.
On Nov. 6, a Wesley employee reported that an electronically locked safe and a money bag containing $4,000 were missing from the main offices, according a sheriff's incident report. Deputies later discovered the safe broken and submerged in a pond in Deerwood subdivision near the church.
Church leaders said most of the money was intended to help support missions in Honduras and Africa.
Jonathan Joseph Henry, 19, of the 1000 block of Conn Drive, also is charged in the case and awaits trial, according to court records.
The teens were not members of the church but had attended services and recreational functions there in the past, church officials said.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Evans man is cited after guitar, chain saw incident
A mix of alcohol, a shattered guitar and a chain saw late Tuesday resulted in the arrest of an Evans man on a public drunkenness charge.
Ian Edward Smith, 31, of the 500 block of Southern Hills Drive, was cited with violating the county's public drunkenness ordinance and released from the Columbia County Detention Center on Wednesday morning after posting $275 bond, according to jail records.
Smith's 28-year-old girlfriend told deputies he was drinking when he smashed a guitar on their driveway out of frustration because it was out of tune. After he reportedly took anxiety medication, she heard him start a chain saw inside the residence.
The chain saw scared a 5-year-old child in the home, and the girlfriend told Smith to put the chain saw down. She said he did so and then jumped a fence and left. Deputies later found him struggling to walk back to the home and carrying a can of beer.
Smith told the deputies he started the chain saw because he wanted to determine whether it still worked.
Vandals break into cars on Evans street
Deputies say two car break-ins in the same block in Evans early Tuesday might be related.
A 39-year-old woman from the 200 block of Waters Way said someone shattered the driver's window of her Ford Windstar minivan and stole a purse containing ID cards and checks.
A few hours later, a 27-year-old in the same block said her Ford Explorer was entered through a shattered window. In the second incident, thieves stole her purse, a cosmetics kit, a camera, cash, credit cards and personal information.
Engagement, wedding rings stolen from home
An Evans woman said Tuesday that someone stole her wedding and engagement rings from her home.
The 54-year-old from Park Chase Drive said she noticed that her $15,000 gold and diamond wedding and engagement ring set, and a $1,000 diamond ring, were missing June 14. Thinking they were misplaced, she went out of town, but could not find the rings when she returned home.
She said a housekeeper was in the home on the same day the rings were last seen.
Papers stolen from car at Martinez shop
An Evans woman told deputies Tuesday that someone stole documents from her locked car behind her Martinez business.
The 41-year-old from the 500 block of Blue Ridge Drive said someone broke the passenger-side window of her Toyota Sienna minivan, which was parked behind Nails, Etc., in the 200 block of South Belair Road.
The woman told deputies that the only things taken were business documents and the plastic case carrying the paperwork.
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