2 Gospel Musicians Charged in Church Break-Ins

ATLANTA -- Two gospel singers are facing multiple charges after authorities say they played uplifting music for several Georgia churches, then stole some $100,000 worth of speakers, microphones and other musical equipment.

Sheriff Thomas H. Smith said Tuesday that 28-year-old Deshawn Rico Thomasand 28-year-old Rico Pionegro Blackshear have each been charged with nine counts of theft by taking and nine counts of burglary.

Neither man had a listed phone number. Thomas said he did not know if they had attorneys.
Smith says authorities had been investigating nine break-ins at churches in central Georgia over the past several months. He says a tipster told authorities the pair might be linked to the break-ins and authorities executing a search warrant found musical equipment in the men's homes and cars.