KC church employee arrested in connection with vandalism, burglary, arson

Marc LaVoie
October 31, 2017 - 5:20 am

Federal investigators believe a church maintenance is responsible for vandalism, burgary and arson at a south Kansas City church.

Nathaniel Nelson, 48, is in federal custody. He has spent time in prison for burglary and arson, The Kansas City Star reports.

Nelson is a member and employee at the Concord "Fortress of Hope" Church. Investigators say another member of the church, Kansas City Deputy Police Chief Karl Oakman, was able to identify Nelson through surveillance footage.

Nelson has admitted to intentionally setting a fire and spray painting racist graffiti on the front of the church to cover up his burglary, investigators said. Nelson allegedly told agents he smoked crack in his office before breaking into other rooms to get money.

A DVR surveillance video system was unplugged at the time of the crime. Nelson was not aware the church has a backup security system, investigators said.

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