Man arrested after allegedly breaking into Scottsdale church

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Jacob Jeffrey Schwartz By Jennifer Thomas Jacob Jeffrey Schwartz By Jennifer Thomas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --  A man is in custody after breaking into a Scottsdale church early Friday morning.

It happened at about 2:15 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the area of 68th Street and Shea Boulevard. According to police, a woman who lives in the condo complex next door was awakened when she heard a loud noise outside.

"I peeked out the window and I saw a man who appeared to be knocking on the front door of the church," said the woman, who did not want her named made public. "I looked at the clock and realized how late it was and I realized that it wasn't usual."

The woman told police she saw the suspect kick in the glass door, look around and then run into the church when no alarm was activated.

Scottsdale police converged on the church shortly after the woman called 911. The suspect was still inside when officers arrived on the scene, immediately covering all of the possible exits.

“He was seen trying to exit the building in different areas,” said Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department. “Every time he’d exit, he’d see a different officer and go back in.”

SWAT crews were called in to negotiate with the suspect, who eventually surrendered without incident. It all came to an end about two hours after the initial 911 call.

The man, who has been identified as Jacob Jeffrey Schwartz, 20, of Minnesota, was transported to Scottsdale city jail where he became combative with the detention officers.

Schwartz is being booked on felony counts of burglary, criminal damage and assault on an officer.

Investigators do not yet know why he broke into the church. Schwartz did some minor damage inside the church and did not appear to have had time to steal anything from inside.

Police said Schwartz exhibited signs of alcohol and drug impairment.