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Man in custody after church break-in

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A man police spent almost two days looking for after a church was broken into didn’t have anything to say as he was walked into the sheriff’s office Wednesday.

Christian Thomas Hill, 24, of 4479 Rainhill Drive, had warrants active for his arrest when deputies took him into custody Tuesday afternoon. The specific charges against him weren’t immediately available at press time Wednesday.

He was wanted after deputies intercepted a breaking and entering in progress early Tuesday morning, according to information previously released by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies had stopped to check on a suspicious vehicle at Missionary Ridge Baptist Church around 1:54 a.m. Tuesday when the church’s alarm was activated and they saw a man leave the church through a window, the sheriff’s office previously said.

They weren’t able to catch up to the man, who they later identified as Hill, and spent Tuesday and Wednesday searching for him.

BCSO’s criminal investigations division, patrol division and warrant sergeant worked with the Morganton Department of Public Safety and probation officers to find Hill and take him into custody around 3:30 p.m. on Conley Road, said Sheriff Steve Whisenant. Hill also is a suspect in a string of residential breaking-and-entering cases in the area.

“The cooperation and determination of officers from multiple agencies working collaboratively for our citizens is rewarding,” Whisenant said.

Hill didn’t say anything as he was walked into the sheriff’s office Tuesday afternoon, but he did shake his head when a News Herald reporter asked about residential break-ins.

The sheriff said he was proud of the work deputies put in to find Hill.

“You’re always proud of these officers,” Whisenant said. “You look at them, standing there, they’ve been out there as a team, they’ve got the job done and now they move onto the next person. It just makes you proud to see them so dedicated that they are going to go out and find these people and arrest them and take them off the street.”

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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