HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A couple’s first date turns into a church robbery in Hendersonville and then a trip to jail.
According to Hendersonville police, the couple confessed to the crime, claiming they broke into the church because they wanted to play the piano and knew churches have pianos.
It all goes down at 12:50 a.m. Thursday: Surveillance at Indian Lake Peninsula Church captured an orange 2004 Mustang pulling into the parking lot.
According to Hendersonville police, the two people, now identified as Danielle Salvato, 19, and Sebastian Spencer, 20, were on a first date. “The young men and women ended up meeting on a social app and were on a date that night,” said Det. Stephen Fye.
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In the video, you can see the surprised smile on Spencer’s face as the pair find an open door and enter. According to police, they enter the sanctuary where the couple claimed to have played a piano for about 30 minutes.
“Both subjects admitted to detectives that they were looking for a piano to play because they both played the piano, they knew churches had pianos, so they were looking for an unlocked church to play the piano,” Fye said.
When the couple left the sanctuary, police say they stole four Bibles and two drumsticks. In the surveillance footage, you can see Salvato taking a collection plate from the church. Police say he took it as a souvenir.
As you leave the church, you can hear the couple talking:
Saved: “I found a piano. I’m so surprised we found one in the first church.”
Spencer: “I know right?”
Saved: “And there were so many more churches I was ready to go to.”
Spencer: “Oh my goodness.”
The next morning, the pastor realized there was an envelope and called the police.
Detectives and patrol officers worked in tandem, quickly accessing the church’s sharp surveillance and obtaining images from an LPR camera that identified Salvato’s orange Mustang.
From there, police quickly located the two suspects, who police say confessed, and turned over the stolen church items.
“They just admitted it was stupid, probably shouldn’t have done it. They knew it was an inherent mistake,” Fye said, “they didn’t apologize.”
Indian Lake Peninsula Church Administrative Pastor Drew Altom said he would counsel youth this way. “I would tell them don’t let this incident define you. Learn something. And together, we keep growing. We all make mistakes, but we also take responsibility for those mistakes.”
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Altom said he is very grateful to HPD for the quick response and resolution of the case.
The pair have been charged with felony theft and robbery.
Church officials told News 2 the open door was immediately repaired.