Accused Ramona church burglars to stand trial

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Two men accused of stealing cash, checks and sacramental wine from a Ramona church must stand trial on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property, a judge ruled Thursday.

Christopher Szumski, 33, and Brandon Tye, 20, were arrested April 22 in a traffic stop on Interstate 8 near Main Street in El Cajon, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Hank Turner.

During interviews with detectives, Szumski and Tye allegedly admitted breaking into St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Ramona on April 14 and ransacking it. Among the losses were safes, cash, checks and sacramental wine, Turner said.

The suspects also allegedly confessed to a residential burglary in San Marcos.

Stolen property was found when officers searched the vehicle the two were in when they were stopped, according to Turner.

El Cajon Judge William McGrath found that enough evidence was presented at the defendants’ preliminary hearing for them to proceed to trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Aug. 13.