ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — Deputies say pastors of at least five churches in St. Francis and Cross counties have been pestered by a serial burglar in recent weeks, but he’s behind bars now.
Davan Cochran, 25, — who deputies said worked as a musician — was arrested Monday after a farmer spotted him sitting outside the Zion Temple Church of God in Christ on County Road 239. Deputies said his car was filled with musical equipment that had been stolen from the church.
“Just kind of shocked,” said Pastor Timothy McFadden, who said this is the first break-in during his family’s 43-year history with the church.
McFadden said Cochran was able to open a small window on the side of the church and took microphones, a keyboard, a guitar and an amplifier.
Pastor Tommy Wiley said Cochran broke in through an equally small window at the New Hebron Church on County Road 409, this time smashing the glass and stealing an amplifier.
“Just looks like he just flew up and went in the window. I don’t know,” said Wiley.
A WREG photographer observed a footprint and an indentation on a nearby trashcan.
In all, deputies say Cochran targeted four churches in St. Francis County and one in Cross County. They said he could also be charged with other break-ins.
“We in that day now. It’s the signs of the time,” said McFadden.
A member of the Trinity All Nations Missionary Baptist Church in North Memphis told WREG that Cochran once tried out as a musician there, but didn’t get the job.
WREG has also learned he was accused of breaking into a Whitehaven church in 2015 and pawning the church’s music equipment.
An investigator told WREG Cochran was on probation at the time of his arrest Monday and that deputies used his ankle-monitoring bracelet to connect him to the other break-ins.
“I don’t think that ankle monitor is working. I don’t think that is working if he can go out and they can’t follow him knowing that he done left home and he’s breaking in churches,” said Wiley.
With all the music equipment deputies say Cochran stole, perhaps it’s only fitting the musician finally get his chance to face the music before a judge on Wednesday.
His bond is set at $400,000.