Thursday December 8th, 2022 1:37PM

Wanted man charged after allegedly vandalizing church in Cornelia, burning vehicle in Baldwin

By Rob Moore Reporter

A man wanted on multiple outstanding Habersham County warrants now faces a list of new charges after what police chiefs in Baldwin and Cornelia call a crime spree that included vandalizing a church, stealing a church van and burning another vehicle overnight Monday.

“Our officers responded to two locations off 441 Bypass for two different incidents,” Baldwin Police Chief Charles Webb said. “One incident involved a vehicle fire and burglary, and the other involved a burglary and criminal damage to property.”

The suspect stayed on the move over the course of the night, eventually being captured in Cornelia.

“Through the course of the evening, with assistance from Cornelia P.D. and Habersham County Sheriff’s Office units, our combined efforts were able to identify a suspect from video surveillance at one of the locations as Robert Dagenhart, 23, as our suspect,” Webb said.

Cornelia police officers responded to three separate calls on March 2, said Cornelia Police Chief Chad Smith.

“The first was to the Taco Stand at 215 South Main Street where a white male snatched the tip jar and fled,” Smith said. “The second was to Hillside Baptist Church concerning a stolen van. At the church, it was determined that it had been forcefully entered and the inside was vandalized with a tremendous amount of damage. The damage estimate is unknown at this time.”

The third call was to Walmart in Cornelia, where a male was shoplifting.

“At Walmart, officers located the stolen van from the church,” Smith said. “Robert William Dagenhart Jr., was taken into custody at Walmart for shoplifting. Through the course of the initial investigation, Mr. Dagenhart was arrested for the crime spree in Cornelia.”

In Cornelia, Dagenhart is charged with robbery by sudden snatching, possession of a controlled substance, second-degree burglary, vandalism to a place of worship, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and theft of a motor vehicle, Smith said.

The Baldwin officer responded to assist Cornelia officers at Walmart, Webb said.

“Our officer was able to gain a confession for both incidents within our city,” Webb said. “Mr. Dagenhart faces several felony charges to be taken out by our agency as well as charges from other agencies.”

Additional charges against Dagenhart as of Wednesday afternoon include: Second-degree criminal damage to property, failure to appear for trial or court appearance(misdemeanor), theft by taking, and hold for court.

Additional charges are pending.

“This agency cooperation stopped what appeared to be a crime spree taking place, and showed what agencies working together can accomplish,” Webb said.

Dagenhart is being held at the Habersham County Detention Center with no bond.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: robbery, Habersham County, arrest, Cornelia, burglary, Cornelia Police Department, Baldwin, Baldwin Police Department, Police Chief Chad Smith
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