Man charged with stealing van from Lexington church, other crimes in Randleman

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RANDLEMAN, N.C. — A church is without its main form of transportation after a man’s alleged two-day crime spree.

Randleman police say 23-year-old Ryan Burton did thousands of dollars in damage before being caught in a Randleman man’s car.

“He laid his seat all the way down. I looked up and there was his feet with my coat over his head,” said Randleman resident Ron Callicutt.

The Air Force veteran described going to grab a jacket on a cold Tuesday morning and finding Burton in his car.

“He wasn’t violent. He took off pulling his pants up right through there. They had him in no time though,” Callicutt said.

Police arrested Burton shortly after they realized he was the same man they were already looking for.

“It’s kind of a unique situation where you can tie all three of them together in a short period of time,” said Sgt. Shain Sexton, of the Randleman Police Department.

Less than an hour before the arrest, police got a call about damaged property.

Burton is seen on surveillance video breaking into a coin machine at Easy Clean Car Wash a half-mile from where officers arrested him.

In that video is a white van. The same van police say was stolen from High Rock Church Monday in Lexington.

“This van has like four rows of seats so we can put 13, 14 seats in them. Well this guy has thrown those seats away all but two of them and had stretched a hammock in there and that’s where he was staying, plus a lot of stolen goods that he had,” said Mike Hillard, lead pastor at High Rock Church.

Ironically, one of the van’s purposes was to help the homeless.

“Delivering food, delivering clothes. Delivering household goods. Picking up people taking them if they need to go to the hospital,” Hillard said.

The church community is now in a bind for Easter, but parishioners know God will make a way.

“We wish him well we’d like to pray for him,” Hillard said.

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