Butler man charged with stealing guitar from city church
Published 9:16 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016
A Butler man faces a theft charge after police say he walked into a city church and stole guitar from inside.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christian Paul McKay, 20, of 106 Waterfront Lane, Butler, on Monday afternoon on a warrant charging him with theft of property over $500.
On Sunday afternoon, Elizabethton Police Department Capt. Jason Shaw responded to a report of a theft from Elizabethton Alliance Church, located at 533 E. Elk Ave., in downtown Elizabethton. When Shaw arrived on scene he spoke with Jonathan Briehl, who told the officer his guitar had been stolen from the church when he went upstairs and left the guitar downstairs. Briehl told Shaw the guitar was a Taylor model 410-CE acoustical and electric valued at $2,500. He also provided the officer with the serial number for the guitar.
“When he noticed it was missing, video was reviewed at the church that showed a male subject with long hair and camouflage pants pick it up and walk out of the church,” Shaw said. “I had personally observed a male with long hair and camouflage pants carrying a guitar walking north on Armed Forces drive between East E Street and East D Street at about 8:16 p.m. this evening.”
Briehl showed Shaw a photo of the suspect captured by the church’s video surveillance system.
“It was the same subject I saw walking with the guitar,” Shaw said. “The time of the theft matched the time I saw the subject.” Shaw added that he recognized the man he saw with the guitar as someone he had seen before but said he did not know the man’s name.
“The victim called a short time later and advised someone from the church identified the suspect as Christian McKay,” Shaw said. “I looked at the suspects photo on Pamet and it was Christian McKay that I saw walking with the guitar earlier.”
Shaw noted that McKay had been arrested early Sunday morning by officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and was wearing the same clothing at the time of his arrest.
“It was found that the subject was released this morning and had picked up property at the jail this afternoon just prior to the time of the theft,” Shaw said. “The video was checked at the jail and it showed him to have the same clothing on as shown a short time later on the church video.”
McKay appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Tuesday for arraignment. McKay informed Judge Keith Bowers Jr., that he intended to hire his own attorney and asked for a bond reduction. Bowers granted the request and set McKay’s bond at $1,000. McKay is scheduled to return to General Sessions Court on April 18.