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Man arrested for stealing from Troutdale church


He admits to several thefts, but pleads not guilty

A 30-year-old man is facing felony accusations after allegedly being caught on camera stealing from his own Troutdale church, police said.by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Frank Gunderson Jr.

Troutdale Police arrested Frank Gunderson Jr. on Thursday, Feb. 7, after receiving a report of several thefts occurring at Harvest Christian Church, 123 S.E. 21st St., Troutdale.

The Rev. Michael Halstead told police he noticed someone had been stealing cash from several offices at the church, so he installed several video cameras, hoping to catch the perpetrator, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The plan apparently worked as cameras allegedly caught Gunderson twice entering the church after hours, police said.

Video showed a man wearing a ski mask going inside an office and taking cash at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. The second incident again caught a man entering and leaving the building with a key at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Troutdale police spoke with Gunderson, who was a member of the church but shouldn’t have had a key and doesn’t have permission to enter the building after hours, Halstead said in the affidavit.

Gunderson admitted to an officer that he entered the church about 10 or 11 times with a key that was hidden, the affidavit said. Gunderson also showed the officer the mask he wore during the alleged theft.

Gunderson appeared in court on Friday, Feb. 8, and pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of third-degree theft. He was released from Multnomah County Jail on Saturday, Feb. 9, and is expected back in court on Tueday, Feb. 19.