Update: Stolen Gwinnett church van recovered burned, suspect in custody


Gwinnett County police report that the stolen church van was recovered in Hall County on Jan. 28, 2018 with heavy fire damage and tips led to the identification of Shannon Beauford, 23, of Gainesville, as a possible suspect. Beauford is currently in the Hall County Jail and, following an interview, Gwinnett County Police detectives have secured warrants against him for burglary, theft by taking motor vehicle, vandalism to a place of worship and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. Also, because of an incident Beauford was alleged to have been involved in the night before the church burglary, he also is facing a charge of obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Charges related to the vehicle fire will be decided by the Hall County Sheriff’s Department. GCPD say Beauford will remain in the Hall County Jail until authorization of his transfer to Gwinnett County.

“We’d like to extend our appreciation to the people who help us solve so many criminal cases such as this one. Without their helpful information, criminals would have more opportunities to victimize others,” Cpl. Michele Pihera, public information officer for GCPD said in the release.

Initial Story

The Gwinnett County Police Department needs the public’s help in identifying a burglary suspect and locating a stolen church van. According to a press release, during the overnight hours of Jan. 16/17, 2018, a suspect is seen on surveillance tape breaking into the Salt and Light Church at 4300 South Lee Street in Buford.

“He stayed on the property for about 10 hours. Initially he slept on the outdoor heating unit that was emitting steam to keep warm.  The next morning, he used a sledgehammer to break into the church.  Prior to fleeing the location, he stole clothing, red headphones, and a 15-passenger van,” Cpl. Michele Pihera, public information officer for GCPD said in the press release.

Pierre said the suspect is described as a white male with tattoos on his right arm and the stolen van is a grey 2008 Chevrolet Express van with “Salt & Light Presbyterian Church” decals on both sides. It is still listed as stolen.

Photos of suspect and van provided by GCPD.

If anyone has any information to share in this case, they are asked to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimestoppersatlanta.org.  Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Case Number:  18-005731



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