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'Selfie' church burglar implicated in vehicle guitar theft

Feb. 14, 2014 at 1:58 PM

CHULA VISTA, Calif., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said an accused church burglar who left behind a cellphone with a "selfie" picture faces charges for another alleged theft.

Chula Vista police said Adam Howe, 26, was arrested this week after he was identified from a photo found on a cellphone left at the scene of a Monday night burglary at the Hilltop Tabernacle Church in Chula Vista, U-T San Diego reported Friday.

Capt. Lon Turner said news of the arrest led to calls from residents of the Brentwood Mobile Home Park, who told investigators they believed the same suspect to be behind a vehicle burglary.

They said Howe was seen carrying an electric guitar stolen from a vehicle along with cash and books at the mobile home park Feb. 4. Neighbors confronted the man and recovered the guitar, but the suspect allegedly told them he would never be found by police.

"I'd like to get a message back to him: Gotcha!" park resident Juliann Cornwall said.

Police said Howe is also wanted for failing to appear on a theft charge in DeKalb, Ind., but he will not be extradited because the offense is not considered sufficiently serious.

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