Howell County News/Amanda Mendez

Thieves Strike Again at WS Church

Thieves have targeted First General Baptist Church for the second time this year. According to a press release from the Willow Springs Police Department, Assistant Chief Wes Ellison took a report of two catalytic converters stolen from church vans. The report was made on August 2, but the theft is believed to have occurred on July 31. 
In late April of this year, the church was victimized on two separate nights. Two catalytic converters were stolen at that time. With the new report made this week, the church has had a total of four van parts stolen, causing a grand total of more than $5,000 in damages. 
For the April incidents, police arrested Dwayne Prediger, 34, of Willow Springs, who reportedly confessed while being questioned by Asst. Chief Ellison. He was charged with two counts of stealing, a Class D felony. These charges remain pending. 
According to Police Chief Bryan Hogan, the most recent thefts at the church remain under active investigation. 
Pastor Scott Williamson said the church is looking into the costs of increased security at the church to protect their vehicles in the future.
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