Taylorsville man sentenced in church break-in

- A Taylorsville man was sentenced Thursday for his involvement of a break-in at a local church. 

Andrew Ray Jonas was sentenced to serve an active prison term of 10 to 13 years during Catawba County Superior Court.

The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a place of worship, larceny after breaking/entering, larceny of motor vehicle, felony hit and run, and admitted his status as a habitual felon.

Jonas also had prior felony convictions in Catawba County (July 2000) and Alexander County (May 2001 and April 2012) that led to his habitual felon status and enhanced the sentence.

All the offenses took place on April 16, 2014. On that date, police said Jonas broke a window to gain access into Faith Baptist Church, damaging property and taking cash and a bank bag from the house of worship.

Those items later were found in his possession in a stolen vehicle Jonas took from an apartment complex in Hickory.

That stolen vehicle was recovered later that day in Jonas’ possession by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol at the scene of a collision on Snow Creek Road. He left the scene of the crash on foot but was located and apprehended by deputies from Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the vehicle struck by Jonas received serious injuries.

Richard Frank of Hickory Police Department investigated the breaking/entering and larceny cases. The hit and run was investigated by Trooper M.G. Adams of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Melanie Earles prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

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