By Nick Janes

CARMICHAEL (CBS13) Members of a Carmichael church that had been targeted by copper thieves for two nights in a row managed to help nab the suspected thieves when the greedy pair returned for a third night.

Just hours after a report by CBS13’s Tony Lopez on the repeated copper theft at the church aired, the alleged suspects returned to the scene of the crime, but this time, church officials were prepared.

WATCH: Tony Lopez’ Original Report

They set up a baby monitor on top of the Carmichael Bible Church at 7100 Fair Oaks Blvd., hooked it up to a monitor and VCR, and took shifts watching it.

Around 4:30 Friday morning, more than six hours into the overnight stakeout, the alleged thieves returned and Pastor Jeff Livingston was watching. He saw the suspects return, alerted other members of the church and called authorities.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly thereafter and arrested the pair, identified Friday as Curtis Darnell, 36, and Howard Sanders, 26.

Detectives are currently trying to determine if the two are responsible for the previous break-ins.

Howard Sanders, 26, left, and Curtis Darnell, 36

“Like an adrenaline rush, ‘Hey guys come out here, come out here, they’re there,” Pastor Jeff told CBS13. “I believe that justice is served to the wicked. Sometimes we see that and sometimes we don’t. This time we got to be a part of it happening, so it feels good.”

The church is without heat right now because thieves grabbed copper from the heating and cooling system.

The suspects spent the first night preparing for the costly theft by draining the Freon out of the machines and tore out as much copper as they could carry on the second night.

When the thieves left behind tools, church officials were concerned that they may return for a third night and put their plan into place.

The damage will likely add up to more than $50,000.

Sanders and Darnell were each charged with felony counts of vandalism, grand theft and criminal conspiracy.

Comments (183)
  1. proudnot2bliberal says:

    Hey what do you expect these two poor souls to do? They shut down their OWS camp so no free food or lodging. Really what do you expect these two guys do clean themselves up look presentable & get a job? Man you cold hearted rightwing Christians.

    (major sarcasm)

  2. Shan says:

    I would like penalties to be based in part on how many people the crime committed ripples out to affect. In the case of this crime, the story says that the church is without heat. This affects all the parishioners. I don’t know how many they number, but let’s suppose that it’s 50 per week on average (probably low). Then one year in the hoosegow for each member affected would put them away for 50 years plus whatever else throwing the book would normally net them for felony grand theft. Imagine what the penalty would be for a computer virus that affects thousands. Bet that might make some of the barbarians think twice. In any event, the punishment would fit the crime.

  3. Timerunner says:

    Only a fool saids there is no God.
    So that you know, One of The Names of the Living God is Jehovah.
    So don’t be a foolish monkey just because you were lied to in a school from hell that told you you came from a monkey, remember there are no monkeys in heaven just as there are no fools.
    Remember one more thing too! There are no Teachers who lied on God or Jesus in Heaven. So don’t be surprised if you don’t see your school teacher, or other so called open minded fools in heavan.
    Come Believe and be Saved. History is as clear as PGT Glass is when its’ clean, who is truely the Living God, The I AM of creation.
    @)!! is the year that should have convinced you to someones’ in control, and it ain’t government.
    Never forget to Remember your Lord :

    American Patriot
    Tea Party Patriot
    Tea Party express
    Oath Keepers
    American for prosperity
    Time to pray

  4. Disko Troop says:

    It is amazing how this story about a couple of copper thieves has turned into a rehashing of gripes about Obama and the Tea Party! Some of the people on this comment thread must be absolutely insufferable at dinner parties. That is, if there’s a host foolish enough to invite them. You don’t even see this kind of meaningless back and forth exchange with the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate.

  5. ernie says:

    What a shame that in this world we have people lazy enough to live on other peoples hard work which they will continue to do even in prison. It just Proves baby monitors are not only for mums and dads but clergy men as well.

  6. Ann Gray says:

    What an ingenious Idea. Will have to forward this to some local Churches in Miami. I know they had plenty of Damage because of stolen Copper wiring.

Leave a Reply