Serial church burglar caught in Goleta

April 5, 2017

Joseph Rose

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies tracked down a man formerly of Boston, Massachusetts who they say broke into three churches in Goleta. The burglar had a habit of shattering windows in order to get inside churches.

On Sunday morning, an employee of the Unitarian Universalist Live Oak Church arrived at work to prepare for services and found Joseph Rose burglarizing the church. Rose then fled the scene, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

Deputies searched the area, and a sergeant located Rose a few blocks away from the church. Rose was carrying several stolen items. His hands and arms were cut and scraped.

Further evidence suggested Rose had recently burglarized the nearby Coastline Christian Academy, a school associated with the South Coast Church. The school and church are located on the same campus.

As the investigation continued, detectives discovered a tie to a recent burglary at the Goleta Valley Church. In that incident, the suspect again broke a window and was confronted by a church employee.

The burglar, whom investigators suspect was Rose, fled the scene. The investigation into the Goleta Valley Church burglary is ongoing.

Deputies arrested Rose and booked him into the Santa Barbara County Jail on two counts of burglary.

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Will he be forgiven for his trespasses?