by: Karen Hopper, KTLO
Two men have been arrested and charged in Searcy County in connection with a series of church burglaries in three counties.
Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell says 21-year-old Jerad Dale Ramsey and 20-year-old Dylan Jay Baker, both of Marshall, have been charged with felony counts of commercial burglary and breaking or entering, after allegedly admitting to law enforcement they were involved in a rash of burglaries in 2018.
Cassell says on Dec. 30, Searcy County authorities responded to a 911 call stating a church door had been kicked open. A deputy found a door to the Harriet Assembly of God Church had been kicked in. Inside the church, he found the doors to the offices had been forced open, and a file cabinet had been left open. The church pastor estimated the damage to the doors and the missing money totaled approximately $900.
In late April, Baker came to the sheriff’s office to discuss the break-in at the Harriet Assembly of God Church. During the interview, Baker allegedly admitted he was present during the break-in. He also reportedly stated Ramsey was there and assisted with the break-in. He said after leaving the church in Harriet, they went to Marshall and broke into the North View Church, but heard people upstairs so they left in their vehicle.
Earlier this month, Ramsey came to the sheriff’s office voluntarily to discuss the break-ins. During the interview, Ramsey reportedly admitted he and one other individual entered the Big Flat Assembly Church and took a vacuum cleaner and money.
After that, Ramsey said they left in his vehicle and went to the Harriet church, where they entered two separate buildings and took money. Ramsey said they left and went to the North View Church and after gaining access to the building, heard voices and fled the scene.
Ramsey also allegedly admitted the two went to the Round Mountain Church in Stone County, where they broke in and took food and sodas.
Baker was arrested Saturday and Ramsey Friday. Both were transported to the Searcy County Detention Center, where they are awaiting their first court appearance. Sheriff Cassell says other arrests are expected in this case.