Church break-ins suspect arrested

Police arrested a Conover man that they think may be linked to the city’s recent string of church break-ins.

Conover police arrested Ryan Chrishan Johnson, 26, of 611 11th St. SW in Conover, early Saturday morning after he allegedly broke into Family Health Care Practices near the five-point intersection downtown.

Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer said CPD Officer Victor Morales spotted Johnson in an alley behind Family Health Care Practices about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, and the suspect tried to hide behind several trash cans.

Morales parked his car, and he and one other officer made the arrest, Brewer said.

According to police, officers found a claw hammer in Johnson's pants during a search.

Police said Family Health Care Practice sustained about $400 in damage.

Johnson is charged with possession of burglary tools and breaking and entering. He is in the Catawba County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.

Johnson may also be tied to the city’s recent string of church break-ins, Brewer said.

In the past two weeks, three Conover churches and one downtown business reported break-ins. For each of the break-ins, police report burglars took only small amounts of money and broke windows and ransacked office areas.

The most recent burglary was reported about 7:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at Woodlawn Baptist Church.

Citizens with information about recent break-ins at Conover churches are encouraged to contact the Conover Police Department at 828-464-4698.