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Thieves Give Church Members Clear View Of The Heavens

June 4, 1988

MANSFIELD, La. (AP) _ When members of the Oak Grove Double Churches look to the heavens for guidance, they have a clear view.

Somebody stole their roof.

Jessie Gobert Jr., 22, of Oxford, was arrested at his home Friday and charged with the theft, said Capt. Marvin Melton of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Church members discovered the tin roof was gone a week ago. Melton said Gobert and two as-yet-unidentified accomplices are suspected of selling it for scrap metal.

He said deputies have found parts of the roof at area scrap companies, ″but the metal was too badly damaged to recover.″ Meanwhile, he said, the tiny rural church is topless.

Lt. Charlie Frazier, an investigator in the case, said it changes the concept of theft.

″We used to say that they stole everything that wasn’t nailed down,″ he said. ″Well, that roof was nailed down.″

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