DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - An arrest has been made in the ongoing investigation of two church burglaries in DeRidder.
David R. Waddle, 22, was arrested Wednesday by the DeRidder Police after trying to sell a TV that was stolen from one of the churches on Facebook. He was arrested and convicted in 2015 for breaking into 8 DeRidder churches and was sentenced to ten years but was released early on parole.
"Waddle was released from the Department of Corrections in March 13 of this year," says DeRidder Police Chief John Gott. "On Mar. 15, our office arrested him for disturbing the peace. He served a couple days in jail and posted bond. Here recently, we arrested him for burglarizing two churches here in DeRidder. "
Both churches, First United Methodist Church and Gospel Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, were broken into in 2015 as well. Pastor Lamar Oliver says that a TV and a laptop were the only things stolen, the TV leading to Waddle's arrest. Both items have been recovered and returned. He says he is focusing on the positives in the situation: no one was hurt and the items stolen were returned.
"If the worst thing in the world is that my office got broken into, life is pretty good." Pastor Oliver says that the church came together to clean the office before the Good Friday service that evening. "It was amazing, as noon rolled around, a lot of it had been cleaned up. It was a great opportunity for our church family to step up and I could not have been more pleased or more proud of the Easter spirit found in our people."
Waddle is currently being held on a $300,000 bond.