A 32-year-old Star man is in the Ada County jail on charges that he broke into the Life Spring Church last year, stole musical equipment and emptied the contents of three fire extinguishers inside the church.
Ryan Ballou is charged with three felonies two counts of burglary and one of grand theft. He was arrested by Star officers of the Ada County Sheriff's Office Wednesday and is being held on $15,000 bond.
The church, in the 100 block of North Star Road, was hit by a series of thefts, break-ins and vandalism between November 2012 and July 2013. The first investigation involved a break-in and theft of a lighting board. In June 2013, Star officers were called back to the church to investigate vandalism to outbuildings. Officers returned a month later after someone broke into the church, stole a soundboard, emptied the contents of three fire extinguishers and defecated on a blanket inside.
Investigators continued to work on the case and, by December, had developed evidence that Ballou was responsible for the thefts. They found stolen musical equipment, including a mixing board, a keyboard/synthesizer and the lighting board, inside a home where Ballou was staying in the 11000 block of West 3rd Street.
Ballou admitted to stealing the equipment from the church and spraying the fire extinguishers, the sheriff's office reports. Ballou told officers he was living in a shack near the church when he broke in.
The church got the musical equipment back.
Ada County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Ballou Monday.
The crimes of grand theft and burglary are punishable by up to 14 and 10 years in prison.