Fingerprints lead to Manatee church burglary arrest

MANATEE -- By comparing fingerprints left at two crime scenes, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was able to arrest a 20-year-old man in connection with a church burglary.

Christopher Lindblade was charged Thursday for a Sept. 21 burglary at Bible Baptist Church, 2113 Morgan Johnson Road, where a safe, checks, cash, five gold coins valued at $3,500 and several records were reported stolen, a report said.

During the burglary, a 2001 Dodge van was also taken from the church, the report said.

Deputies were able to lift fingerprints from the crime scene and again from the stolen van when it was located.

Through their investigation, deputies were able to link Lindblade to the prints found at both crime scenes, the report said. Deputies then called the church and discovered Lindblade was never employed at the church and no one in the management staff knows him.

After being read his rights, Lindblade said he is familiar with the church because his mother was employed to clean the church, and he and his sister helped her for a few months, the report said.

He said he never had been in any of the offices within the building or the vehicle, the report said.

Lindblade did not confess to the burglary or implicate anyone else involved.

Lindblade is currently being held without bond at Manatee County jail.