EXCLUSIVE: Couple connected to breaking into church goers' homes

Joshua Pope (Source: Bullitt County Corrections)
Joshua Pope (Source: Bullitt County Corrections)

PIONEER VILLAGE, KY (WAVE) - Police arrested a husband and wife they say broke into people's homes and stole their valuables while they were at church. The couple allegedly went through a church directory and targeted members during worship services.

"I think it's wrong," said victim Raymond Byers who spoke exclusively to WAVE 3.

Byers and his wife, Emogene, says someone broke into their home through a window about two weeks ago and took jewelry.

"We was at church while they done it," said Byers.

They're not the only potential victims. Police say they think they've connected 26-year-old Joshua Pope and his wife, 21-year-old Rachel Laverde, to half a dozen burglaries. There are several possible victims, but a handful all go to Manslick Road Church of Christ.

Byers says he knows Joshua Pope.

"They don't want to work," said Byers. "Some of them are on dope. They want to get something so they can buy more dope."

Police do think the couple was selling stolen property for money to buy drugs and used a member directory to hit parishioners' homes during church services.

"That's one of the things that really kind of disgusts us," said Chief DJ Reynolds. "The fact that they prey on people while they try and worship God, ya know?"

Police used a search warrant to recover many items including a Coast Guard ring, baseball cards, and charms with the names Karen, Jeffrey, and Paula, two of which have dates ending in the year 1970. There are also Churchill Downs owner's pins with the numbers: 2048, 0370, 2445, and 3130.

"We want to see if we can find the other victims of their other burglaries," said Reynolds.

Byers says Pope came from a broken home, but that doesn't excuse what he thinks he did.

"He was old enough to know what was right and what was wrong, but he didn't exercise his understanding," said Byers.

To take a closer look at the recovered property or claim it call (502) 955-7131.

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