BURKE COUNTY, N.C. – Two men were arrested after deputies say they vandalized a church and stole sound equipment during a break-in Easter morning.
According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, members of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Morganton were preparing for Easter service when they discovered the sound equipment missing. Deputies say it was at the time the congregation discovered the church was broken into and two windows were spray painted.
One church member told investigators they saw two white males carrying backpacks along Corn Hill Road while on his way to the church.
A short time later, a Burke County deputy located two men walking along Kayla’s Ridge Road that matched the description of those seen by the church member. The men were identified as Brian Lee Tate, 34, and Ryan Kaine Whisnant, 18. Both men were taken into custody at the scene.
Tate was charged with felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor charges of larceny from building, damage to personal property, and a probation violation. Whisnant was charged with felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor larceny, damage to personal property, operating vehicle with no insurance, speeding, and resisting arrest.