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Suspects charged with multiple break-ins

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The investigation included incidents as far away as Michigan

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — Investigators from Grayson and Carroll counties have arrested two suspects in a string of break-ins at churches in the Fries area and other incidents as far away as Michigan, according to Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan.

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Grayson County Investigator Brad Brown and Deputy Bobby Jones, with assistance from Carroll County Chief Deputy Gary Bourne and Deputy Brian Felts, linked the pair to several thefts from churches, including Fries Baptist, Grace Baptist and Midway Baptist, where several thousands of dollars of musical equipment was taken. The suspects are also charged with similar crimes at a Fries residence and at several campers along the New River.
Brown and Jones executed a search warrant at a residence at 309 Grayson Street in Fries on Oct. 9, along with the Carroll deputies.
The search warrant came after deputies impounded an abandoned camper that had been parked on town property near Fries Baptist Church, according to Vaughan.
While cataloguing what they found in the camper, deputies discovered some of the items were those reported stolen in the break-ins that they had been investigating.
That led to getting the search warrant for the Grayson Street home, where more stolen items were recovered. These included two firearms, musical instruments, binoculars, bicycles, golf clubs, a video camera, flat screen televisions, multimedia projects and more.
As a result of the investigation, Grayson deputies charged Zachary Lee Funk, 28, and Kayla Leann Patino, 26, both of Fries, with breaking and entering, grand larceny and possession of stolen property, according to Vaughan. In Carroll, Funk and Patino face charges of breaking and entering and receiving stolen goods.
Funk was held on a $10,000 bond in Grayson and a $10,000 bond from charges placed by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for break ins at Grace Baptist Church in Fries and Midway Baptist off of Iron Ridge Road, Vaughan said.
Patino was held on a $5,000 bond on Grayson charges and an additional $5,000 bond on the Carroll charges.
“The search warrant revealed items that ultimately cleared nine cases, including several cases for the Michigan State Police who were also investigating church [breaking and entering incidents],” Vaughan said.
Funk and Patino had recently bought their motor home in Michigan. Law enforcement officials in Michigan had spotted its license plate on camera Sept. 29 near the Mackinac Bridge on Interstate 75 , the sheriff explained.
“This arrest is a good example of local law enforcement officers working together to bring criminals to justice, and obtain closure for the victims of these crimes,” Vaughan said. “I would like to commend all of the officers that worked on these cases for a job well done.”