Suspect Arrested in String of Church Burglaries
On Thursday October 24 the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joseph P. Geddings (W/M DOB:06/30/1983 Address:785 W. Brooklyn Ave.) and charged him with 5 counts of Burglary 2nd Degree and 1 count of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses. Geddings was jailed at the Lancaster County Detention and is currently awaiting a bond hearing.
The Sheriff’s Office began the investigation when the 1st of 5 church burglaries occurred last week. In each of the cases Geddings entered the church by breaking a window. Geddings then stole electronics such as computers and audio/visual equipment from the churches.
The first incident occurred at David Stand AME Zion located at 1986 Riverside Rd. between Oct. 15th and Oct. 18th. The burglary was reported on the 18th.
The second and third incidents occurred between 5pm on Oct. 19th and 0730 am Oct. 20th at Shiloh ARP Church located at 346 Shiloh Unity Rd. and Destiny Bible Church located at 2422 Flat Creek Rd.
The fourth incident occurred at Bethel Baptist Church located at 2893 Bethel Rd. on Oct. 21st.
The fifth incident occurred at New Hope AME Zion church located 3383 Pink Plyler Rd. on Oct. 23rd.
The obtaining money by false pretenses is a result of Geddings selling some of the stolen property at a local pawn shop while using a fake identification card.
Geddings pled guilty to more than 10 burglaries and a host of other property crimes in 2008, most of which occurred at a church. He was sentenced to 10 years suspended on the service of 5 years and 5 years probation. Geddings was released sometime last year.
Sheriff Faile said, “First, I would also like to thank our investigators who worked really hard to get this case solved before he was able to do anymore damage. They did a really great job. Secondly, it is a shame that someone would break into a place of worship. Geddings has done this type of thing before and we intend to ask the Judicial System to seek the maximum allowable penalty. ”