Lancaster County Deputies say DNA evidence left at the scene of a church break-in more than five months ago led them to the naming of 21-year-old Lucas Pate of Monroe as a suspect.
Investigators say Pate broke into Taylors Grove Baptist Church on Charlotte Highway, leaving behind 2-thousand dollars in damage to the church and a van.
When the incidents were reported on May 3, Criminal Investigators and Crime Scene Investigators responded to the scenes and conducted a detailed investigation. Crime Scene Investigators collected numerous pieces of evidence that were sent to the State Law Enforcement Division for DNA analysis.
Although Pate was identified that day as a potential suspect, investigators were unable to determine probable cause until the results of the forensic tests were completed.
Pate now faces a charge of 2nd degree burglary, three counts of larceny/breaking into a motor vehicle and two counts of damaging or tampering with a vehicle.
“We are thankful to have these results and happy to report these charges,” said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile. “It is unfortunate however that we have had Pate in mind this entire time and not been able to act. When it comes to DNA evidence we are at the mercy of the state backlog at SLED. Now that we have these charges we are going to work aggressively to pursue Pate until he is in custody.”