Brooklyn man collared in Queens church burglaries


A Brooklyn man has been arrested for a series of burglaries in several Queens churches.

David Spencer, 34 is charged with breaking into four churches and attempting to break into a fifth over the course of a week earlier this month.

District Attorney Richard Brown said Spencer is accused of being a “one-man crime wave and brazenly breaking into churches and helping himself to whatever he could find of value.”

During Spencer’s alleged series of thefts, he stole more than $7,000 worth of items, including a movie projector, a sound-system amplifier, computer equipment and musical instruments. When he allegedly attempted to break into his fifth target, he damaged several doors, all according to the criminal complaint.

Spencer’s spree lasted from Wednesday, July 10 to the following Wednesday, July 17, hitting United Apostolic Lighthouse Church on Springfield Boulevard, Redemption Holy Tabernacle Church on the Van Wyck Expressway, Rehoboth House of Praise on Farmers Boulevard and Grace Moravian Church on 137th Avenue.

Spencer allegedly snagged a $3,000 keyboard from United Apostolic Lighthouse Church and another $1,500 keyboard from the Harvest Revival Baptist Church. He then allegedly provided photo identification and pawned both instruments at a Brooklyn Guitar Center.

He also took a flat-screen television, a computer keyboard and a laptop from other locations. Fingerprints found on the keyboard and church windows matched those of Spencer’s, authorities said.

The Redemption Holy Tabernacle Church allegedly acquired video footage of Spencer attempting to enter the front door. Later, the church caretaker discovered damage to the church’s front and side doors.

Spencer is charged with burglary, attempted burglary, criminal mischief and grand larceny. He was ordered held on a $40,000 bail and will return to court on Friday, August 2. If convicted, Spencer faces up to seven years in prison.

The Grace Moravian Church declined to comment on the incident, and other parishes could not be reached as of press time.