Repeat offender suspected of breaking into Metro Detroit churches caught in the act

A repeat offender is back behind bars for allegedly breaking into metro Detroit churches after police caught him in the act.

Police say Anthony Lavin was arrested and taken into custody for breaking and entering churches in Livonia and surrounding communities. Two weeks ago, Lavin allegedly made his way inside Bell Creek Community Church in about two minutes, says Pastor Joel Lindman.

"We were blessed he didn't do any damage other than be crafty about getting into the building," he said.

But what Lavin did not know is that he was under surveillance by police.

"It's called SONIC Team - it's South Oakland group of officers from other departments had been following guy all day," he said.

Surveillance started after Farmington Hills Police received a report of a breaking and entering at a church in their city on December 30. That church had a RING doorbell, which captured a white Dodge Ram pickup at the scene during the crime. 

Police monitored the vehicle and soon after, it was seen heading to Bell Creek Community Church, where Lavin allegedly got inside by prying open a door before being scared off by an alarm. 

"They followed him and as I recollect it was down on Newburg Road. Between the SONIC team and the Livonia Police Department they boxed him in and he did not have a chance," the pastor said.
Lavin was somewhat cooperative and taken into custody. He was arraigned last week and his next court date is January 16. 

"You're going to pay for your sin. Anybody can be redeemed," Lindman said. "Anybody can be forgiven."