Local News

Fayetteville police arrest 'surveillance cam poser'

Posted August 20, 2010 8:14 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2010 7:05 p.m. EDT

— Police said Friday that a man seen waving to a security camera in a Fayetteville church has been charged with stealing from the church.

Ted Duane Balliett, 21, who is homeless, was charged with breaking and entering a house of worship, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods.

Eddie Beddingfield, pastor of First Baptist Church, said Balliett asked the church secretary last week if he could park his bike at the church so nobody would steal it while he went to the library.

"When he left, he waved at us to thank us," Beddingfield said.

Balliett apparently returned to the church, in the 200 block of Anderson Street, on Sunday, after services were over and everyone had left, the minister said.

"We have him on some of our security videos in different areas of the church," he said, including riding his bike through a hallway.

"It's actually kind of humorous that he would come back and commit a felony," Beddingfield said.

On Monday, church staff members noticed that a $4,000 video projector was missing, and Fayetteville police released a series of surveillance images of Balliett mugging for the church security camera to generate leads on his identity and whereabouts.

Police dubbed him the "surveillance cam poser" and an "attention-starved subject" in news releases about the case.

"In my opinion, it's kind of a stupid move," police spokesman Dan Grubb said of posing for the security camera. "He didn't seem as excited in the mugshot as he did in the surveillance shot."

Officers arrested Balliett Thursday night in another church parking lot.

"I don't know if he's just targeting churches or not," Grubb said.

Balliett was being held Friday in the Cumberland County Detention Center under $5,000 bond. Grubb said he surrendered the projector, which officers returned to the church.

Beddingfield said the church has forgiven Balliett.

"God is a God of second chances, and we believe that," he said. "We don't hold grudges."