William Chad Turner from Hamilton may have been driving a First Baptist Church van through town Sunday morning, but he wasn't headed for church.
Turner ended up in the Brown County Jail charged on three counts, two on the burglary of buildings - the First Baptist Church of Hamilton and a second building on church property - and one on the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, the church's 12-passenger van.
According to reports from the Brown County Sheriff's Office, a clerk at the Food Plaza in Early reported that a man was acting strangely in the store, had come in without his pants fastened and then had tried to sell items to get money to buy gas for his van, which had "First Baptist Church of Hamilton" painted on the side.
"That was about 6 Sunday morning," Sheriff's Deputy John Harper said.
Turner, 22, left the Food Plaza, and was headed to Bangs when Harper made the traffic stop. Harper said there was a bicycle between the backseats of the van. The driver's clothing was dirty and the shirt was torn, and he did not have a driver's license.
He did have a roll of stamps and a class ring, and, Harper said, he detected a strong odor of mouthwash or gum, which he suspected the man was using to cover the smell of alcohol.
"Too many things didn't fit," Harper said.
Harper, who by then had been joined by DPS Trooper John Moody and Early Police Officer Stephanie Haile, said Turner, standing outside the van in cuffs, began confessing to breaking in the church and taking a van and a ring.
By 6:30 p.m. the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office had confirmed that there had been a breakin and that the van was missing.
"We'd actually recovered the van before anyone at the church knew it was gone," Harper said.
Turner remained in the Brown County Jail on Monday. In addition to the three new charges out of Hamilton County, he was already on probation for auto theft in San Angelo.