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Note left at crime scene leads to suspect in Grove City church burglaries

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GROVE CITY, Pa. -

Grove City police charged a suspected church burglar Tuesday afternoon after finding his fingerprints on a note left for the pastor whose church was burglarized.

19-year-old Zane Scriven of Slippery Rock was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of criminal mischief, and one count each of theft, criminal trespass, and terroristic threats.  Police say he broke into Grove City churches in both December and February. 

The first incident took place at Tower Presbyterian Church on December 11, 2015.  

Police say the suspect entered the church through an unlocked door and damaged around $1400 of property.  According to the criminal complaint, the thief left with only a $25 Walmart gift card and $8.00 in cash.

Two months later Grove City police were called to the scene of another church burglary, this time at Galilean Baptist on Liberty Street.  

Galilean's pastor was in the building at the time of the incident, and police say he became aware that something was amiss when the church's power was suddenly cut off.

The pastor, according to police, got up to investigate and found several drawers forcibly opened and the church's safe broken into.  Nothing of value was reported missing.

When he returned to his office, police say the pastor found a note on his computer titled "A letter from the thief."  It read, "I was going to kill you, but I decided to shut off the power instead.  Take care pastor."  The letter was signed with a smiley face.

As it turned out, the note may have been the alleged thief's undoing.  Police searched the scene and recovered a fingerprint from the notepad used to create smiley-signed note.  

The fingerprint, police say, led to the arrest of Zion Scriven on June 15th.  

Scriven then, according the criminal complaint, admitted to both burglaries after being confronted with the fingerprint evidence.  

The suspect was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge McEwan on Tuesday, and is being held in Mercer County Jail on $25,000 bond.  

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