top of page

Two jailed after burglary at abandoned church in Buna

Above from left to right; 46-year-old Steven Massey of Jasper and 36-year-old Deric Blankenship of Buna

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 2:00am yesterday morning of a burglary in

progress at the abandoned Catholic Church located at 35194 US HWY 96 S in Buna. This is also the location of the currently operational Smitty’s Smokehouse food truck.

Jasper County Media Deputy Karli Cherry said, "Upon arrival, the deputy entered the building and located wire rolled up on the ground which the property owner indicated was not there prior. While clearing the building, the deputy located an individual in the attic, ordered him down and took him into custody. After other deputies arrived, another individual was located in the attic area as well. Both suspects indicated that there is a third party involved in the planning of the theft."

Cherry said that 36-year-old Deric Blankenship of Buna and 46-year-old Steven Massey of Jasper were both arrested and charged with Burglary of a Building (State Jail Felony) and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (3rd Degree Felony). They remain in the Jasper County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing to secure warrants for the other party involved.

Cherry added, "We want to thank the property owner for his diligence in working with us to apprehend these individuals."


bottom of page