Police, aided by an observant church employee, arrested an alleged burglar Saturday and recovered valuable religiously important religious antiques that were taken from a church in Oxnard last week.
Octavio Delgadillo, 36, of Oxnard, was booked on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, the Oxnard Police Department said in a written statement.
Police said Delgadillo has a long history with law enforcement, having been arrested “more than 20 times” last year in Moorpark before recently moving to Oxnard.
His most recent arrest took place about 8:25 a.m. Saturday at the Santa Clara Church, 323 South E. Street, officials said.
“An alert employee at the Santa Clara Church noticed a suspicious subject, whom she believed may have stolen some sacred goods from the church last week, was loitering on church grounds possibly casing for an additional theft,” the police statement said. “Her suspicions were correct.”
Officers contacted the man, later identified as Delgadillo, and found he was in possession of several of the sacred items stolen from the church last week, police said. They included a crucifix, robes, books and other antiques.
“The church was happy to recover the consecrated liturgical antiques and regalia which they consider to be priceless,” the statement added.
Bail for Delgadillo was set at $15,000 pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in Ventura County Superior Court, county booking records show.
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Church Thief Arrested DATE/TIME: February 15, 2020 / 8:25 a.m. LOCATION: Santa Clara Church, 323 South E St. VICTIM: Santa Clara Church SUSPECT: Octavio Delgadillo, 36 years On February 15, 2020, an alert employee at the Santa Clara Church noticed a suspicious subject, whom she believed may have stolen some sacred goods from the church last week, was loitering on church grounds possibly casing for an additional theft. Her suspicions were correct. Octavio Delgadillo was contacted by officers and found to be in possession of several stolen items. The monetary value of the stolen items qualified Delgadillo to be arrested for two separate felonies related to the theft, however, the church was happy to recover the consecrated liturgical antiques and regalia which they consider to be priceless. Delgadillo was arrested more than 20 times in the city of Moorpark in 2019 and very recently relocated to the Oxnard area.