LANCASTER — Investigators received forensic evidence last week to link a Monroe, N.C., man to a string of burglaries and larcenies, including vandalizing a Lancaster County church.
Authorities are looking for 21-year-old Lucas Wayne Pate, who was identified as a possible suspect in several burglaries along Charlotte Highway and Shiloh Unity Road on May 3, including four car break-ins into vehicles parked at two houses, according to a news release from the Lancaster County Sheriffs Office.
Another incident stems from a burglary at Taylors Grove Baptist Church at 2382 Charlotte Highway, the release states, where Pate caused more than $2,000 in damage to the church and churchs van.
He didnt break a window and go to the church, said Maj. Matt Shaw with the Lancaster County Sheriffs Office. He broke out multiple windows and doors in various places throughout the church. It wasnt like he just broke the window to get in.
Pate has an extensive record in Monroe, N.C., Shaw said, compelling Lancaster County officials to work with Union County, N.C., officials to secure an arrest.
When the burglaries were reported, crime scene investigators collected pieces of evidence that were sent to the State Law Enforcement Divisions DNA lab.
That evidence included items Pate left behind at the scene, Shaw said. Officials also collected evidence from Pate that day but were unable to determine probable cause until the forensic tests were completed. Officials received the results last week.
When Pate is arrested, hell be charged with three counts of second-degree burglary and larceny/breaking into a motor vehicle and two counts of damaging or tampering with a vehicle, the release states.