Teens arrested following burglary at Aiken County church

January 23, 2019

An Aiken teen was charged Monday in connection with a burglary at Southwind Fellowship Church on Old Dominion Road in Aiken.

Brendan Coward, 17, of Shrewsberry Lane, is charged with third-degree burglary, according to jail records.

Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded around 6 p.m. Monday to reports of a break-in at the church on Old Dominion Road, according to the report.

Deputies arrived and met with another officer who said he saw two people were inside “making noise” and he told the suspects to stop, but they ran to the other end of the building, police reported.

Investigators observed the screen from one of the church’s windows laying on the ground and broken glass to one of the windows on one of the church doors.

A deputy then came across the two suspects inside and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint, according to the report.

Coward was arrested, along with a juvenile female, police reported.

Coward told deputies he broke the glass to the door window that allowed him and the female suspect to enter; while inside, Coward claimed to have played with matches and a fire extinguisher, the report states.

The female juvenile told deputies she was a runaway and met Coward at the church, where he then decided to break into the building, according to the report.

She claimed to only go inside to keep Coward from “burning down the church” with matches.

The juvenile was released into her mother’s custody, while Coward was taken to the Aiken County detention center, where he is still being held as of Tuesday afternoon.

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