Pastor Stakes Out Church, Foils Burglary

The Rev. Don Billey already considered himself keeper of his church, but he didn’t consider security to be part of the job until Sunday, WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported. Billey, fed up with three recent break-ins at Main Street Church of God, donned dark clothing and staked out the church with a video camera Sunday night, the pastor and police said. They said he caught a woman breaking into the church fellowship building. Police said they arrested Amber Updegraff, 26, of Anderson, after Billey confronted her when she allegedly broke one of the building’s windows.

“I just made up in my own mind that I’m just going to stay out there and watch — I’m going to take my video camera see if I can catch anybody,” Billey said Tuesday.

He said he heard glass break outside the fellowship building at about 10:30 p.m. He approached the building, shined his flashlight into the broken window and said, “Stop, police department.”

Though Billey is not a police officer, he has ties with the Anderson Police Department, police spokesman Joel Sandefur said.

“He does carry a badge that identifies him as a police chaplain and has been with the officers enough to know some of our tactics and procedures,” Sandefur said.

Police said they recovered all of the stolen items except for $200 in cash. Updegraff told investigators that she spent the money on food and cigarettes, police said.

Billey said he hopes to see Updegraff again — not in jail, but in the pews on a Sunday morning.

“I think what she would find if she came in with a repentant spirit, people would just throw their arms around her and she would find a place where she was loved and forgiven,” Billey said.

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