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Crime & Courts

California pastor tackles burglary suspect, holds him for deputies

A California pastor whose church was repeatedly broken into finally took matters into his own hands, tackling a burglary suspect and holding him until police responded.

Pastor Steve Kihlthau of Stockton Baptist Church said the sanctuary’s alarm sounded for the fourth time in a week at about 3 a.m. Monday, prompting its alarm company to notify him to check out the situation, FOX 40 reports.

“All of a sudden, I heard a glass door start to open and I see a guy run out, carrying a satchel, a bag and I said a few choice words to say, ‘Stop where you are,’” Kihlthau told the station.

The 60-year-old pastor then tackled the suspect when he didn’t spot a weapon.

“We wrestled on the ground,” he continued. “Probably for at least five minutes before the sheriff got here.”

Kihlthau said he had met his limit with four earlier break-ins, costing the church thousands of dollars in equipment, including three computers.

Dwayne Hickingbottom, 52, was arrested following the incident and was charged with burglary, battery and vandalism, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies said.

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