Chico teen arrested in church break-in linked to string of school burglaries

Feb 27, 2015 10:24 AM by Alyssa Deitsch

Chico Police caught a big break last night after a church custodian caught two burglars in the act, one of whom was involved in a break-in at Marigold Elementary School last week.

It all happened last night at around 7 p.m., as seven different church groups were congregating inside Bidwell Presbyterian Church near downtown Chico.

20-year-old Joshua Michael Neese and a 13-year-old boy broke into the church basement, vandalized walls, tried to steal electronics, and one even defecated in a room.

The church's lead custodian caught both as they were leaving, and held Neese until police showed up and arrested him.

Police later took the 13-year-old into custody, and said he was responsible for last week's burglary at Marigold Elementary.

"Hopefully this will be part of this kid's healing process and I guess that's what we can pray for," said Bidwell Presbyterian's Business Administrator Lisa Stone said. " that through this somehow, God can use this situation to help them realize what's going on with their lives and to turn it around."

Chico Police don't believe Neese had any involvement in the string of recent burglaries at churches and schools, but they are looking into other suspects.

Neese was booked into Butte County Jail on one count of burglary.

The teen was booked into juvenile hall on two counts of burglary.

Chico Police said the teen is a known runaway and spends time on the streets.


Most Popular