Arrest Made In String Of Church Break-Ins

Suspect has history of similar crimes.

A Lillington man now faces 15 felony counts after being arrested and charged in several church break-ins in the area, only five months after being released from prison for convictions on the same type crimes.

Michael Holt Butts, 52, is charged with church break-ins that occurred between Dec. 1, 2017 and Jan. 25, 2018 at churches throughout the area.

According to Harnett County sheriff’s reports, the charges are for breaking and entering a place of worship, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen goods.

Harnett County Sheriff’s Lt. Aaron Meredith said Mr. Butts allegedly stole a variety of items including electronics, televisions, guitars and other equipment.

The robberies occurred mostly in the Lillington area at Grace Community Church, Neill’s Creek Baptist Church, Mount Ariel UMC, Hillmon Grove Baptist Church and Cape Fear Presbyterian Church.

Lt. Meredith said the investigation into the case is ongoing and there could be additional charges. There are eight more churches where break-ins occurred.

Mr. Butts remains in the Harnett County Jail on a $200,000 bond.

He was released from prison in October after serving more than 12 years for similar crimes. According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections, he began his prison term in April of 2005 on multiple breaking and entering charges. He also has multiple motor vehicle break-in convictions in his past. Story and photo courtesy The Daily Record