Couple arrested for stealing from local churches
COOPER CITY, Fla. (WSVN) -- Prayers for churchgoers in one South Florida city were answered Wednesday following a string of crimes at several houses of worship.
Shawn Michael Loschiavo, 28, and his girlfriend Tanya Michelle Yurke, 30, were both charged with a number of grand thefts.
"What are you doing for work right now?" Broward County Court Judge John Hurley asked Yurke in bond court Thursday.
"I actually just got a job at an optical place," she responded.
"How long have you been working at the optical place?"
"I was just hired yesterday."
The Broward Sheriff's Office believe the couple ripped off copper from Cooper City for the past month to support their drug habit.
"So what do you do for work right now?" Hurley asked Loschiavo.
"Right now I'm not working," he said.
The couple stands accused of stealing from six churches in an office park in the city.
Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Sam Cavalieri said the couple was caught on surveillance video at the United Pentecostal Church as they surveyed light posts from which to steal the copper wiring. "In these particular cases ... they were going into the ground electrical boxes located throughout the properties, and they would try to open the tops," he said. "They would cut the wires from each end and would actually pull the wire out through the piping in the ground."
The duo was arrested at Christ The Rock Church Wednesday. Minutes before, BSO believes, they stole more wiring from a nearby office park.
The wiring is just worth a few dollars per pound, but the cost for the damages left behind is in the thousands. "Well, after pulling it out, obviously, the repair cost of a theft of this nature is very great," Cavalieri said. "You have to dig up and retrench and rerun the wiring."
Loschiavo and Yurke are being held at the Broward County Jail on a high bond.
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