Methodist Church Burglar Arrested

First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

Here is the Crystal Lake Police report on the arrest in the September 21st break-in of the First Methodist Crystal at Dole and West Crystal Lake Avenues:

“On Friday, October 22, 2010 Crystal Lake Police arrested Jonathan L. Tully (M/W D.O.B. 09/17/1973), an area homeless man, for his alleged involvement with the burglary to the First United Methodist Church located at 236 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake.

“The burglary was initially reported to authorities during the early morning hours of September 21, 2010.

“Preliminary findings revealed that the church had been entered by force and that unknown offender(s) obtained control over two laptop computers belonging to the First United Methodist Church.

Jonathan Tully

“Tully was developed as a possible suspect when some of his personal property was found adjacent to the church on the morning the burglary was reported.

“On Friday, October 22, 2010 Jonathan Tully was located by Crystal Lake Police at the local PADS site and was found to be in possession of one of the laptops reported as stolen by church officials.”

“Police reviewed their findings with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office who approved criminal charges against Tully for

  • one count of Burglary (Class 1 Felony) and
  • 4 counts of Theft (2 Class 2 Felonies – having a prior conviction and 2 Class 4 Felonies intending to permanently deprive First United Methodist Church of the use of the property).

“Bond to be set by a Judge.”

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That’s the police report.  Here’s the scuttlebutt:

The guy who broke in though Wesley Hall,  the room where the free Community Dinner is held each Sunday night, cut himself.  Blood was found in the church, as well as “some of his personal property,” as the press release says.

While two computers were stolen, one was reported abandoned near the Home State Bank downtown. It was the newer of the two.

The newer one had a GPS device that was traced to a Chicago residence.  A photo of a teen using it was taken by the camera on that computer, which had apparently been taken home by the father after being found near the bank.  A Facebook posting was made by the first teen’s sibling.

= = = = =

Finally, part of what Senior Pastor Steve Bullmer wrote to church members after the burglary:

As I prayed about what to do, I found myself praying The Lord’s Prayer.

When I got to, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” God said,

“Stop! Do you really mean what you just prayed?”

Was I actually asking God to forgive our trespasser? And I had to say,

“Yes, Lord. I really mean it.”

Pastor Steven Bullmer in the pulpit.

Now “forgiveness” does not mean “free pass.”

“Forgive and forget” is not in the Bible.

Forgiveness does not mean a miscarriage of justice.

But it does mean I have to relate to our trespasser as a child of God who needs healing and hope more than he or she needed those laptops.

Forgiveness means retribution and revenge are inappropriate responses from a Christian.

Forgiveness means I throw mercy at our trespasser, and I don’t “throw the book” at him.

Forgiveness means I try to find a way to say to him or her,

“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

This break-in is a test of our Christian character. Not cheap grace, but grace nevertheless.

God has sent us a lost person. Are we going to offer them Jesus, or a jail cell?

His whole email is here.

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