published Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

One of two suspects arrested in South Cleveland United Methodist. St. Therese Catholic Church burglary

One suspect was arrested Friday in a series of church burglaries that occurred last week in Cleveland, Tenn., police there said.

Justin Lee Bazzano, 25, was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of vandalism over $500 and two counts of theft over $1,000 after he was found at Horizon Square Apartments in Cleveland, police spokeswoman Evie West said.

The first burglary occurred Sunday at South Cleveland United Methodist. St. Therese Catholic Church was hit Monday and Tuesday nights, and North Cleveland Baptist was burglarized sometime between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday, West said.

Elizabeth Wells, director of the child development center at North Cleveland Baptist, said a teacher discovered the damage at the church's day care Wednesday and immediately called her.

"They looked in and saw papers and stuff all over the floor," she said. "Then they looked into the office and the door had been busted open. You could tell they used like a screwdriver or something on the bolt."

She said that although the burglars only stole about $20, it's a relief one suspect has been caught.

A second suspect, 25-year-old Clint Neice, is still wanted on active warrants, West said. He's white, about 200 pounds and is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall. He has tattoos on both arms and on the left side of his neck.

Police are asking anyone with information on the case to call Detective Bill Parks of the Criminal Investigations Division at 423-559-3321.

Contact staff writer Hannah Smith at or at 423-757-6731.

about Hannah Smith...

Hannah Smith is a staff reporter for the Times Free Press. She previously worked as a Pulliam Fellow at the Indianapolis Star and as a Middle East news reporter at the Global Post in Boston. She has also spent time in broadcast, interning at Channel 13 WTHR in Indianapolis, and radio, as a reporter for American Student Radio. Hannah graduated with honors from Indiana University in May with degrees in journalism and Arabic. There she ...

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