One Suspect Held in Adventist Church Burglary
ne of two armed robbery suspects who held up a Sunday morning, Nov. 18, business meeting of the First Garden City (Georgia) Seventh-day Adventist Church remains in jail, police sources confirmed Nov. 26. Another is being sought, the sources, which asked not to be individually identified, said.
“We have had home invasions” in the city near Savannah, Georgia, the source said, “but I’ve never heard of one in a church.” According to police and media reports, the robbery was a break-in during the business session, when two armed suspects forced their way into the church building. After ordering the dozen church leaders on the floor, robbers took purses, wallets, and cell phones, among other valuables, according to a report in the Savannah Morning News, an area paper.
The day after the robbery, Nov. 19, church members identified 20-year-old Santonio Carl Youmans as one of the robbers. He is in jail awaiting trial on felony charges of armed robbery, simple assault and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The newspaper report quoted Garden City police chief David Lyons as saying Youmans had “a considerable quantity of crack cocaine” when he was arrested.
According to the report, Lyons speculated that the robbers may have thought a regular church service, where an offering would be collected, was in progress. Adventists, however, worship on the Bible Sabbath, Saturday, and thus the business meeting drew only about half the normal attendance.
There were no injuries during the robbery, according to the Morning News, although one congregant was treated at the scene for elevated blood pressure.
— AR Staff