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GPS app on stolen tablet leads to alleged Mattoon church burglar; Reportedly ends up in jail for contempt of court at Thursday hearing
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GPS app on stolen tablet leads to alleged Mattoon church burglar; Reportedly ends up in jail for contempt of court at Thursday hearing

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MATTOON — A GPS location app on a stolen computer tablet recently led police to a man who allegedly broke into a Mattoon church.

A Mattoon Police Department press release reported that Demetris Watts Sr., 50, of Mattoon was arrested at 11:10 p.m. Wednesday at his residence in the 600 block of South 17th Street on a preliminary charge of burglary.

The charge alleges that Watts broke into the Free Methodist Church, 1621 Marshall Ave., earlier Wednesday evening by shattering a window. He then allegedly stole computer and audio equipment valued at thousands of dollars, including an electric piano keyboard.

Police were reportedly able to track the stolen items to Watts' residence due to there being a GPS location app on a computer tablet that was taken. A search warrant was then served at Watts’ home. Police forced the door, took Watts into custody, and recovered items stolen from the church.

Watts was taken to the Coles County jail. The state's attorney's office subsequently filed a felony charge of burglary at a house of worship against Watts.

During a hearing on Thursday, Watts' bond was set at a level at which he would need to post $5,000 in order to be released from custody.

Watts reportedly declared at this hearing that he would defend himself, fired his public defender, and cursed within the courtroom. Watts was then sentenced to an eight-day jail sanction for contempt of court. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday.

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Reporter

Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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