Man charged in theft from church

Robert Sheriff

Robert Sheriff

LAWRENCEVILLE -- An Austell man has been arrested after police say he stole almost $1,000 worth of audio equipment from a Lawrenceville church.

Robert Brandon Sheriff, 24, was stopped for a traffic violation just before 1 a.m. Sunday, officials said. The responding Lawrenceville police officer noticed something suspicious as he spoke with Sheriff near the intersection of West Pike and Oak streets.

"Sheriff's mannerisms seemed very nervous and his hands were shaking while he shuffled through the same papers over and over," a police report said.

After Sheriff reportedly consented to a vehicle search, the officer quickly located a piece of sound equipment with the word "Sanctuary" printed on it. Further investigation allegedly revealed multiple audio cables and other pieces of equipment, later valued at about $900.

The items were determined to be stolen from the nearby Lawrenceville Church of God, where crews has been "setting up a sound system for the church band," police said.

"(Sheriff) stated that he purchased the items from a guy in the parking lot outside the church for $10," the report said.

One of the men reportedly setting up the sound systems at the church arrived at the scene after Sheriff had been pulled over. He stated that "he had already recovered several other items ... from Sheriff when they had finished their job."

Sheriff was arrested and charged with theft by receiving. Gwinnett County Jail records show he is being held without bond.