Stolen Church Van Recovered in York, Lincoln Man Arrested

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A Crimestopper's tip leads to the arrest of an alleged car thief.

The Nebraska State Patrol took 27-year-old Philip Perez into custody Wednesday in York.

Sometime overnight Tuesday, Lincoln Police say someone stole a van from the Calvary United Methodist Church near 11th and A street in Lincoln.

Police say a witness saw Perez changing license plates on that van at a rest stop in York the next day.

They say he was also trying to scrape off a Calvary Church decal from the side of the van.

Without the Crimestoppers report, the church may not have gotten their van back.

"The Crimestoppers tip was actually received first and then once the trooper made contact at the rest stop, he contacted the police department and asked us to go check on church to see if the van was in fact stole," Officer Katie Flood said. "The pastor arrived at the church and then confirmed the church had been burglarized overnight."

Perez was also wanted for absconding from parole. He sits in York county jail, facing charges of possession of stolen property.

The church is grateful to have their van back and say they cannot express enough thanks to the person who saw the suspicious activity and called Crimestoppers.