By Tom Reopelle

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A Southland man accused of burglarizing a local church was in police custody on Thursday.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports officers nabbed the suspect after a nearby resident reported a bizarrely-dressed man acting suspiciously.

Police responded to a call shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday outside Palisades Presbyterian Church in the 6300 block of Birchwood Street and found Joshua Mahlon Baker, 39, carrying a trash can filled with musical instruments and other items allegedly stolen from the house of worship, SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said.

Baker was wearing “a sparkly purple sash” that draped over the upper part of his body with nothing else underneath, Hassen said.

He was also wearing a white cloth that he had “poked a hole in” and black sneakers, he added.

When officers ran after the suspect, the 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound suspect fled and climbed over a nearby chain link fence, losing his makeshift clothing in the process, Hassen said.

Officers then brought the man who had reported the break-in to the area, and he identified the suspect as the alleged thief.

A representative of the church later identified property found in the back of the suspect’s truck as belonging to the congregation, police said.

Baker was booked into county jail on suspicion of burglary and resisting arrest. He is being held on $25,000 bail pending an arraignment scheduled for Friday afternoon.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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