JACKSONVILLE - Two Marines from Cherry Point were arrested for breaking into a Jacksonville church, according to Onslow County deputies.
Tyler Douglas, 19, and Zachary Johnson, 19, were charged with felony breaking and entering into a place of worship and resisting an officer. They are accused of breaking into the Southwest Primitive Baptist Church on Burgaw Highway Saturday afternoon.
"I don't want to see something happen to a church," said Jessica Hansley. "You know it's the Lord's house."
Hansley, who attended the church as child, saw the two men in the cemetery of the church at 12:30 p.m. "They had backpacks on, it looked like they may have been carrying shovels," said Hansley.
According to Hansley, the two men fled into the woods when she approached. Hansley called authorities after she spotted a knife on the ground.
Deputies were dispatched to the church and a crime scene investigator processed the scene.
Approximately eight hours later, Deputy Larry Johnson spotted the two suspects at the Scotchman Store on Burgaw Highway. Investigators say the convenience store is about 300 yards from the church.
Deputy Johnson approached the two suspects and began to question them. Deputy Johnson said he called for backup; however, before backup could arrive, the two suspects allegedly fled.
Investigators say a K-9 was set on the trail of the two suspects. Hours later, both suspects were located under a bridge on Burgaw Highway, which is about two miles from the church.
Fran Kinev, who was born and raised in Onslow County, lives nearby. "I'm really concerned about it," said Kinev. "They're not too far from where I am, so they could have just come right on over here too."
The two men had a first appearance in an Onslow County court on Monday.
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