Suspect identified in two Norfolk church burglaries

Posted at 10:57 AM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 09:42:44-05

NORFOLK, Va. – A local church wants answers after they say someone broke in and vandalized their property earlier this week.

“I felt very secure," Immanuel Worship and Deliverance Ministries International Senior Pastor Dr. Virginia Barnett said. "I felt comfortable. This was like a safe haven. We never had the church broken into before.”

Dr. Barnett arrived Tuesday to find doors kicked in and drawers and cabinets ransacked.

“We noticed these chairs, in the pulpit, had been knocked down," Associate Pastor Rev. Rhonda Vaughn said. "The plants had been knocked down. Coming up into the pulpit area, they had even knocked down the candles and the cross.”

Norfolk Police say 20-year-old Justin Young, of Portsmouth, is the main suspect in the burglary.

However, he has not been charged yet.

Rev. Vaughn says the incident likely happened Monday with the thief making off with about $500 in cash.

“We had the children’s ministry, our dance ministry – those petty cash accounts were affected by this," Outreach Missions Coordinator Donita Gordon said. What this does, for now, is we’re back at square one.”

Vaughn says they have no idea why anyone would target their church, located in East Ocean View.

They have increased their security measures.

Detectives have also identified Young as the suspect involved in the break-in at New Life Christian Center on Pleasant Avenue on February 6th.

If you know where Young is, take action and call the crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.