A 34-year-old Brooklyn man was arraigned on charges of breaking into four Queens churches – and attempting to break into a fifth – earlier this month, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday.
David Spencer was arraigned last Saturday on five criminal complaints charging him with stealing more than $7,000 worth of items, including computer equipment and musical instruments. The five churches allegedly targeted by Spencer were: United Apostolic Lighthouse Church on Springfield Boulevard, Harvest Revival Baptist Church on Springfield Boulevard, Redemption Holy Tabernacle Church on the Van Wyck Expressway, Rehoboth House of Praise on Farmers Boulevard, and Grace Moravian Church on 137th Avenue.
In addition to the computer and musical equipment, Spencer allegedly swiped a movie projector and a sound-system amplifier.
“The defendant is accused of being a one-man crime wave and brazenly breaking into churches throughout Queens and helping himself to whatever he could find of value,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “The residents of Queens County can be assured that this case will be prosecuted vigorously and swiftly to ensure that justice is served.”
According to the DA, Spencer began his alleged crime spree just after midnight on July 10, when he allegedly forced his way into the United Apostolic Lighthouse Church and stole a music keyboard valued at $3,000. Between the night of July 12 and the afternoon of July 14, the Brooklyn man allegedly broke into the Harvest Revival Baptist Church and stole a Yamaha keyboard priced at $1,500.
The DA also said that Spencer, providing photo identification, allegedly pawned both keyboards at the Guitar Center at 139 Flatbush Avenue and received $600 for the Yamaha keyboard and $1,300 for the other keyboard.
Furthermore, Spencer allegedly attempted to burglarize Redemption Holy Tabernacle Church between the night of July 16 and the morning of July 17. When the church caretaker arrived, he allegedly observed damage to the front and side doors. Church video surveillance allegedly showed Spencer attempting to enter the front door.
The alleged thief also burglarized the Rehoboth House of Praise between the night of July 16 and morning July 17. When a church pastor arrived at the building, he allegedly observed damage to the front door and that the church’s flat-screen television had been removed from the wall and was lying on the floor and a Moffit computer keyboard had been stolen, both items valued at $2,600. Fingerprints recovered from the flat screen television allegedly matched those of Spencer.
Finally, according to the final complaint, Spencer allegedly forced his way into the Grace Moravian Church between July 16 and July 17 and snagged a Hewlett Packard laptop computer, a Casio music keyboard, a movie projector and a sound-system amplifier, all valued at $1,800.
Spencer has been charged with burglary, attempted burglary, criminal mischief and grand larceny. He was ordered held on $40,000 bail and will return to court on Aug. 2.
By Anna Gustafson