Posted: Dec 25, 2012 10:59 AM by Irina Cates - MTN News
MISSOULA - Three Missoula people are accused of trying to steal the Christmas spirit after prosecutors say they broke into a Missoula home and several churches.
One of the three suspects told investigators they broke into and vandalized the churches because it gave them an adrenaline rush.
Drake Anthony Hotzel is facing eight felony burglary charges. Jon Phillip Worcester is being charged with seven counts. Their alleged getaway driver, MacKenzie Raye Culp, is being charged with six burglary counts.
Prosecutors say Hotzel and Worcester broke into a Missoula home and they also broke into and vandalized Blessed Trinity Catholic Parish, Lighthouse Baptist Church,First Church of the Nazarene and Journey Christian Fellowship. Some of the churches they reportedly burglarized more than once.
The two reportedly went through cupboards, drawers, broke into locked file cabinets and threw knives into the ceiling, while their getaway driver waited for them nearby. In most of the burglaries, they stole cash, Christmas presents, food and other valuables.
Prosecutors say Culp wasn't involved in all of the burglaries and Hotzel broke into one of the churches on his own. Investigators say Hotzel and Worcester split the money they took, ate the stolen food and used stolen gift cards to go shopping.
When Holtz was arrested, Worcester and Culp allegedly hid some of the other stolen valuables in a rented storage unit.
Worcester told detectives that they picked the churches randomly and that they didn't have a list that they were using.
Prosecutors say Worcester and Hotzel are co-defendants in a felony theft case, for which they sentenced less than a year ago. The judge set Worcester and Hotzel's bail at $75,000, while Culp's was set at $5,000.