A church in San Jose had its prayers answered this week.
The Chinese For Christ Church recently was burglarized and lost valuable musical instruments as well as two transportation vans. But a routine traffic stop and some heads-up police work by Santa Clara County sheriff deputies led to a happy ending for what started as a terrible tale.
Deputies said the suspects’ behavior gave them away, and it was a good feeling to recover the church's two stolen vans and $15,000 worth of musical instruments.
Transit patrol deputies arrested 28-year Austin Hudson and 35-year old Andrew Miller after a traffic stop for an outdated registration tag. The deputies noticed all the instruments and asked questions.
"I’ve done a lot of burglaries, and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to bring everything back intact," deputy Jeremy Foy said.
Foy said he asked the suspects if the instruments belonged to them, and if so, when did they get them, as he tried to establish ownership.
"At first, they just kind of looked at us like 'We don’t know where they came from,' and we don’t know where they’re going,'" Foy recalled.
Joey Wang, pastor at Chinese For Christ Church was happy and relieved.
"Yes, they’re back where they belong, they’re back home," he said of the stolen items. "So, I can’t wait to share with the other church members that we finally got the guitars back."
Foy said if he were in the suspects' shoes, he's be sweating it a little bit.
"I don’t think you should steal from a church," he said with a laugh.
Sheriff Laurie Smith said the investigation not only led to the two vans but also burglary tools and controlled substances.
Miller is being held without bail for violating parole.