Baby Monitor Bust at Toledo Church - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Baby Monitor Bust at Toledo Church

The North End Church of God is on North Erie in Toledo. The North End Church of God is on North Erie in Toledo.
This is the baby monitor neighbors used. This is the baby monitor neighbors used.
Robert Sawyers was arrested by police in connection to the case. Robert Sawyers was arrested by police in connection to the case.

TOLEDO -- There's a surprising new weapon in the war on crime and it's something most parents probably have in the house. A baby monitor helped neighbors of a north Toledo church catch one crook in the act.

It happened Monday night at the North End Church of God. Neighbor James Laykins says the church has been broken into about 20 times over the last year. His wife, Kelli, came up with a plan to catch the bad guy. She decided to put one baby monitor in the church and the other in their house across the street.

"After the last break-in, just trying to figure out who is doing this, it just hit me -- maybe the baby monitor will reach to my house," said Kelli Laykins.

Her plan paid off Monday night. Kelli was on the phone when she heard something strange. "And I thought I heard a little bit of noise and I thought well maybe it's the furnace. I listened a little while longer and then I heard the big thump where the table had fallen," she said.

James and his daughter's boyfriend dashed across the street to the church. "We come running over here with spotlights and sure enough somebody was in the church," said James. That somebody turned out to be 47-year-old Robert Sawyers.

A few minutes later, police showed up. "They searched the whole church they found the guy back in the crawl space trying to cover himself up with dirt and they threatened to shoot him if he didn't come out -- so he came on out," said James.

Sawyers is no stranger to the North End Church of God. According to James, he's been there before looking for food. "I just looked at him and I said, 'Shame on you.'"

Now the church has another broken window to replace. But, believe it or not, James is more concerned about fixing Sawyer's soul. "As a Christian, I'd like to see the guy get saved and start coming to our church. He'd do a good testimonial on us," said James.

And the other lesson he learned from this church crime caper? "Thank God for baby monitors."

The North End Church of God is struggling financially. They're hoping someone will step forward to help them replace the shattered windows.

Sawyers has been charged by police with breaking and entering.  He's expected in court on Wednesday.

Updated by AEB

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