Suspect in Custody after String of Church Break-Ins

by Danielle Cotterman on October 3, 2011 at 5:38 am

Area church members can now rest easy knowing the man suspected in a string of breaking and entering is behind bars.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said 32-year-old Scott Roberts of Zanesville is facing 43 charges that include burglary, breaking and entering, vandalism and theft. Roberts is suspected of being responsible for nearly all of the church break-ins since July 14th as well as a number of home burglaries taking place throughout the city and county.

"When people start breaking into homes," expressed Lutz, "getting this low to break into a church, people are getting desperate and those things happen and people start getting a little nervous and a little scared, start feeling a little uneasy about what’s going on around them, so its a huge relief to our public."

Lutz said Roberts became greedy, straying from his pattern of church break-ins to include area homes. He said Roberts first became a suspect after breaking into a home on Dale Road in Zanesville last Tuesday night. According to area neighbors the homeowner woke up to find a man wearing dark clothing and a mask stealing items from his home. Lutz believes Roberts did not realize the family was home at the time. Deputies and Detectives took a personal interest in the case.

"Our midnight shift did a heck of a job they could have very easily just wrote this off as another one and did the report up and turned it in, but they went the extra mile," explained Lutz. "All the guys working that shift that were on that night, really made this a priority for them and it’s some of the tribute to some of the good people we have working here."

Roberts was taken into custody Friday evening. The Zanesville Police Department and Sheriffs Office plan to group all charges together. At this time it is unclear of the sentence Roberts could be facing.

Roberts does have a past criminal record including; Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, Breaking and Entering and Theft.