Police: Suspect who lit fire near propane tanks at Turf & Garden broke into Suffolk church

Gideon Gitahi Njoroge

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Texas man was behind two different vandalism incidents last night in Suffolk, according to police. 

Police say they were made aware of the incidents around 11 p.m. Monday when they were dispatched to Union Baptist Missionary Church in the 5400 block of Nansemond Parkway for an alarm call. 

Officers say they found a lone suspect in the area with several cuts on his arms and pieces of broken glass in his shoes. 

A preliminary investigation revealed glass had been broken on the door of church. Officers then reviewed surveillance video that showed the same suspect breaking into the church. 

Police then took Gideon Gitahi Njoroge, 20, of Schertz, Texas, into custody. 

Further investigation found that Njoroge was also caught on surveillance video Monday night at the Turf & Garden, Inc. starting a fire near propane cylinders and destroying a section of fence, according to police. The business is on the same block as the church. 

Njoroge was taken to a magistrate’s office, where he was arrested on warrants of breaking and entering with intent to commit felony and destruct-removal church or cemetery structure, as well as arson/business and vandalism of private property. 

He’s being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail. Police say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are pending. 

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