Two Arrested After Barricading Themselves Inside Irvine Megachurch


IRVINE (CNS) - Two men were in custody today after barricading themselves in an Irvine megachurch, armed with rifles.

 The two men were reported entering Harvest Orange County, located at 17600 Gillette Ave. around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, said Kim Mohr of the Irvine Police Department. The SWAT team was activated and the suspects surrendered around 9:20 p.m., she said. Authorities were still clearing the scene around 11 p.m.

 Riverside-based Pastor Greg Laurie is the head of the nondenominational church. Since the break-in Laurie has posted a message about the crime to his congregation on Facebook.

 ``You may have heard on the news about a break-in at our Church in Irvine, Harvest Orange County. There is not much I can tell you at this point except the following: Two men who were thought to be armed broke into the Orange County Harvest church building last night. Police were notified and on the scene within minutes. After a brief search and standoff, the suspects were found in the building and apprehended. No one was injured in the process. There was no known motive for the break-in but there were some minor damages to the building. We are grateful to the Irvine police for their quick response,'' Laurie wrote.

 ``Harvest continues to work with local authorities to assess the motive and intention of these criminals. We are confident the situation is resolved, all our service and programs will continue as normal, but we are taking additional security precautions for the foreseeable future. We appreciate the extraordinary work of the local authorities and are thankful to God for the prayers and abundant support of our community. The fact that the situation was resolved so quickly attests to the professionalism of the Irvine Police Dept. and also to the safety we already had in place as a congregation,'' Laurie added.


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