Items For Hurricane Matthew Victims Stolen From Churches

A 27 year-old man has been arrested in connection with a two month crime spree including thefts from two churches.

On November 2nd, the Oak Ridge Church of God was broken into and $1,100 worth of items was stolen from the sanctuary. The items were there to help individuals impacted by Hurricane Matthew.  On November 14th, a break-in was reported at the Mt. Carmel Church. Church members said several items were taken that were there for the flood victims.

That same day, a victim reported $4,590 in property was taken from their home by the suspect, Justin Edward Howell of Ebenezer Church Road, Goldsboro who had lost his home to Hurricane Matthew.

Howell was also a suspect with the October theft of four checks from a business. The checks were later forged for a total of $802.85 and cashed at a bank in Johnston County.

On Friday, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Howell on 27 charges.  Bail was set at $80,000.  He is also facing a probation violate charge.

Luckily, deputies have recovered the majority of the stolen items