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Suspects in church burglary charged
Criminal complaints have been filed against two men who allegedly broke into a church, vandalized it and fled with electronics before being spotted by Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents.
Mario Gill, 18, and Jose Rivera, 19, have each been charged with burglary, theft and aggravated criminal damage, all felonies.
Gill and Rivera, who were arraigned in Yuma Justice Court on Monday, are each being held on $200,000 bond and are scheduled to return to court on Friday at 4 p.m. for their preliminary hearings
A third person was arrested with Gill and Rivera but has not been identified because the suspect is a juvenile.
All three were booked into either the Yuma County Detention Facility or the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center last week on charges of burglary, criminal trespassing, possession of burglary tools, aggravated criminal damage and theft.
The incident happened at about 4 a.m. Oct. 4 at Valley Baptist Church, 3830 W. 8th St. Border Patrol agents saw two people carrying electronics and full backpacks at the intersection of El Prado Road and 8th Street, just east of the church.
The agents followed the two from a distance until the pair ran into a nearby yard and tried to hide. Agents detained them until sheriff's deputies responded.
Deputies found the church's back door had been pried open, and numerous electronic items were missing, damaged or thrown about the property.
Most of the stolen items were recovered and returned to the church. YCSO estimated the loss and damage to the church at about $100,000.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.