Local News

Man accused of burglarizing church

— Fingerprints led to the arrest of a man in connection with a church burglary that involved the theft of money, according to a report released Wednesday.

Michael Lydale Rhoden Jr., 19, 204 Joe Hilton Road, Avon Park, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and charged with criminal mischief involving a church, burglary of an unoccupied structure and petty theft.

The arrest came after Antioch Church of God reported that someone entered the church by breaking a window and then forcibly entered the church office where $40 was later discovered missing.

Prints found on a filing cabinet belong to Rhoden, the report said. Church officials said that Rhoden doesn’t belong to the church and had no permission to be in the office, the report stated.

Although Rhoden denied stealing money from the church, he could not explain how his fingerprints would be in the church office, the report said.