Man accused of church burglary, theft pleads

Aug. 11—A Lantana community man facing a host of charges including the burglary of a church building storage unit and theft of keys to condos at Lake Tansi pleaded guilty in Criminal Court this month.

John Collin Phipps, 32, Lantana Rd., pleaded guilty to an information charging burglary, theft of property of up to $2,500 and theft of property of up to $1,000 Aug. 3 and received a five-year prison sentence.

That sentence is to be served at 30% as a Range 1 offender under state law and Phipps is being given credit for 71 days already served in jail.

Remaining charges against Phipps, including at least three thefts of merchandise, were dismissed.

In one case, Phipps pleaded guilty to the theft of skidder chains valued at up to $2,500 on June 22-23, 2021, and investigated by CCSO Investigator Gary Green.

The chains were with equipment on property off Lantana Rd. Most of the property was recovered and restitution was set at $500.

In the second case, Phipps pleaded guilty to burglary of a storage building at Lantana Baptist Church on May 11.

In the third case, Phipps pleaded guilty to theft of property of less than $1,000 for the theft of condo keys from Lake Tansi on June 22. All but one of the keys was recovered and Phipps is to pay restitution to be determined.

The plea agreement states Phipps is to pay restitution in cases not part of the agreement in the amount of $729 to Walmart; $50 to Fairfield Glade Community Club in a vandalism case; $79.96 restitution to Food City; and restitution to Rural King that is to be determined.

The agreement bans Phipps from contact with all the victims in all the cases.

Michael Moser may be reached at