Parrish Police Chief Nick Smith reports that Kenneth Trywick, 22, of Cordova has been charged with theft of property and breaking and entering of a motor vehicle.
Between Dec. 19 and Dec. 30, the Parrish Police Department received reports of six vehicle break-ins that occurred during worship services at several Parrish area churches. In order to stem the recurrent crimes, Smith ordered more patrols and an increased vigilance during the services on the part of his officers in an effort catch the perpetrators.
Parrish police received a description of the vehicle and the suspect spotted at the scene of a break-in from members of First Baptist Church of Parrish — a young man with short, sandy blond hair driving a blue car.
On Jan. 2, a member of the Parrish Church of the Nazarene reported seeing a man fitting the suspect’s description and driving a matching car on church grounds, accompanied by a female later identified as his wife. When confronted, the suspect left abruptly, stating that his wife was in labor.
Later in the day, Officer Chad Gurganus was on patrol when he spotted Trywick, who fit the suspect’s description driving a blue Ford Focus.
“I noticed him walking around cars in one of the church’s parking lots,” Gurganus said. “Once he saw me, he turned around and walked back to his car quickly.”
Upon questioning, the suspect stated that he and his wife were looking for a church to go to in the area and after brief entrance into one of the churches, left abruptly stating once again that his wife was in labor.
Gurganus followed the suspect out of Parrish town limits and into Jasper.
Parrish police went to Trywick’s residence and brought him back to the police department for questioning, where he confessed to committing some of the break-ins, including break-ins at the First Baptist Church.
The other break-ins that have occurred in the area are still under investigation and future charges could be pending.
“We feel very strongly that the suspect has committed the other break-ins in the area as well,” Smith said. “He also confessed to be responsible for break-ins in the Oakman area, so we feel that we could have helped not only the problems going on here in Parrish, but in other areas of the county that have been targeted.”
Smith praised the efforts of Gurganus as well as the watchful eye of the church members who reported Trywick’s appearances.
“We were able to solve some of these crimes with the good patrol work of Officer Gurganus and good communication between the citizens of Parrish and our police department,” Smith said. “When our police department sees a problem in the community, we want to take every action we can to stop it before it gets any bigger and I feel that we have done that very well in this situation.”