Arson suspect linked to stolen Jesus statue

Mary Watkins - APD
Mary Watkins - APD
Delbert Watkins - APD
Delbert Watkins - APD

A suspect connected to stealing a statue of Jesus has now been linked to an arson.

The Alliance Police Department located a stolen Jesus statue with the help of Facebook followers.

The Jesus statue stolen from the St Theodore Catholic Church was recovered early Wednesday morning by second shift Patrols and the Detective Bureau.

Candles were also stolen from the church.

Officers questioned Mary Watkins, 18, of 914 S Linden Ave who allegedly admitted that she had broken into the church with others and that the Jesus statue, "was just chillin", in the backyard of a nearby vacant house.

Jesus sustained some damage but was mostly intact. Police also recovered a tabernacle and rosary. Watkins was arrested for breaking and entering and receiving stolen property. Other suspects have been identified and will be charged as well..

Zachery T Hawkins, 18, and Delbert C. Watkins , 19, also confessed to the Jesus statue theft. Charges against them will be filed Thursday.

Friday, officers discovered that a vacant house fire located at 529 S. Mahoning Avenue  on Dec. 15th was set by the very same candles stolen from the church.

Alliance Police reported that arson evidence was presented to Delbert Watkins, and that's when he confessed to setting the blaze.

Watkins was transported to the Stark County Jail where he was arraigned Friday, Dec. 23rd.