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Indiana pastor Justin K White arrested over fake burglary

Indiana pastor Justin K White arrested over fake burglary

When pastor White, above, senior minister at the First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana, announced that he had been burgled, kind-hearted people immediately rallied to support him and his family. They showered him with gifts, and two policemen even replaced his stolen TV.

But there was no real burglary.

And last week White was arrested on felony charges of insurance fraud and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He stands accused of arranging with a juvenile to stage the December 18, 2016, burglary at his Skyview Estates home in order to file an insurance claim for the lost items.

White claimed his family was robbed of about $11,000 in cash and valuables while he was preaching at church.

White is accused of arranging the burglary to obtain money from his insurance company to pay off a drug debt. The charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor relates to his obtaining drugs from a juvenile.

Two Columbus police officers, friends of the White family who did not want to be identified, replaced the family’s stolen living room television the same day of the burglary with a new one they purchased as a gift. Among the items White reported stolen were coins in his daughter’s piggy bank, jewelry with sentimental value, Xbox consoles and games and computers.

However, as Columbus Police detectives looked into the burglary allegation, they determined there were no signs of forced entry at the home. The front door and two other doors on the ground floor were unlocked and undamaged, they said. And the thief or thieves had left untouched wrapped gifts under the family’s Christmas tree.

Officers later learned after obtaining a search warrant that White made a claim for the burglary loss the same day he reported it through the Cincinnati Insurance Co, seeking $11,460.75 in compensation.

In an unrelated investigation, Columbus detectives obtained a search warrant for the home of the parents of the juvenile who was involved, who is only identified by his initials in the court documents. The juvenile told officers that he had an addiction problem and had just come out of rehabilitation. After repeatedly denying that he had burglarised White’s house, he told officers:

Justin has a very bad drug problem, too, and he’s been asking me to get him things for him since I was 15 years old.

The juvenile said the “things” were drugs, specifically pain pills and heroin,

The accused accomplice said he had met White for spiritual counseling when placed on house arrest at age 15 or 16 for possession of marijuana. White would come to the boy’s house at lunch time while both of his parents were at work.

On his second visit, White asked if the boy could get him some marijuana for his aunt who had cancer. During the third counseling session, White asked for prescription pain pills; and eventually, White asked the boy to obtain heroin for him.

At the time of the burglary, White owed the juvenile about $1,000, and had met with the juvenile in his car at a business parking lot to set up the burglary.

White originally wanted the juvenile to do the burglary on December 16 while he was in Ohio for his grandmother’s funeral, but the juvenile rejected the idea because of the short notice.

On the day of the burglary, the boy went to the White house with another juvenile, a female, who knocked on the door and the two walked in because it was unlocked. A pile of items was where White had told them it would be, except for a large television which was also part of the deal White had made with the youth.

When detectives called White in to tell him that they had recovered some of the family’s property, officers read him his rights and asked him about his relationship with the male juvenile.

White has resigned from the First Christian Church.

19 responses to “Indiana pastor Justin K White arrested over fake burglary”

  1. Lurker111 says:

    Okay, this is the Freethinker’s “feel-good” article of the day, isn’t it?

    🙂

  2. Newspaniard says:

    You couldn’t make this up.

  3. Playonwords says:

    @Newspaniard given the Bible as an example you can make up many more incredible things with the caveat that they will automatically be untrue

  4. L.Long says:

    To the two cops…you should know better! No preacher should be trusted with out real proof they are not liars!

  5. 1859 says:

    A ‘senior minister’? Well think about all the ‘good’ sermons this guy has preached to others over the years. Think of his years of training, the bible ‘study’, hymns sung, prayers mumbled and plain indoctrination – and all to what effect? Clearly, despite all these ‘good’ influences, there have been some serious moral shortcomings in his education.

  6. CoastalMaineBird says:

    White was accused by police of staging the burglary to pay off debts for drugs owed to a juvenile accused of being an accomplice in the Dec. 18 burglary.

    The Lawd works in mysterious ways, don’t he?

  7. 1859 says:

    Imagine – if this guy hadn’t been rumbled by the cops he’d still be out there watching his new TV, still on drugs and still preaching all things bright and beautiful from his holy dog book. I think they should reintroduce the public pillory in the town square, ‘cos he needs a load of tomatoes thrown at his so, so righteous face.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Great career move. “Repent”; tell how much you’ve learned from your experience, and how this has given you a new outlook on the Christian faith, and how much better fitted you are to “serve God”, and you’re on your way to a bright new future, as per Peter Popoff (yes, operating again – see his shiny new website ), Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and, of course, our old friend Ted Haggard (sorry if I seem obsessed with the bastard):

    In November 2009, Haggard began holding prayer meetings in his Colorado Springs basement. One hundred ten people attended the first prayer meeting. By the next meeting, the large number of attendees forced him to move the prayer meeting to his barn. Haggard also says he has been named an overseer at a church, someone who counsels and advises church leaders on moral, ethical and religious issues.In May 2010, Haggard announced he was incorporating a new church for accounting purposes, And by June 2010, Haggard said he would operate a full-blown church.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Haggard

    (“Full blown”; is that a joke?)

  9. tonye says:

    @barriejohn,

    When I hear of these evangelists who ‘repent’ and go on to make even more money I have to worry about the stupidity of my fellow men and women.

    It’s uncannily like Stockholm Syndrome.

  10. barriejohn says:

    @tonye: And people expressed surprise that Donald Trump was elected President (“Cleeen Coaaal”!).

  11. Vanity Unfair says:

    I don’t understand the criticism. The man was obviously just practising for the Apocalypse. (Coming shortly to a community near you.) You have to be prepared.

    1 Thessalonians 5:2
    For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

  12. afl says:

    I thought most people wanted to cry for tolerance. Justin deserves another chance just like everyone else. Satan might have won a battle, but he hasn’t won the war!

  13. remigius says:

    afl. If you’re looking to blame a malevolent fictional wizard I would suggest this episode is more likely the work of Lord Voldemort. He really hates Muggles.

  14. afl says:

    remigius: If you think Satan is fictional, you might want to rethink it!

  15. barriejohn says:

    Wow – the instant answer to the prison overcrowding problem: give ’em all another chance!

  16. afl says:

    If it didn’t involve a Christian, you’d probably think it was ok; right?

  17. Daz says:

    “If it didn’t involve a Christian, you’d probably think it was ok; right?”

    Hold on, I left my Godless Moral Compass™ under the sofa…

    .

    .

    No.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Daz: It’s a well-known fact that atheists think that only Christians should go to prison!