Steve Kihlthau may be a pastor, but the events of the past week at his church off of Hammer Lane in Stockton would’ve tried the patience of a saint. His church, Stockton Baptist was broken into four times in one week.
Around 3 a.m. Monday morning, the alarm went off a fourth time. The alarm company called Pastor Steve and he headed to the church to check out the situation.
“All of a sudden, I heard a glass door start to open and I see a guy run out, carrying a satchel, a bag and I said a few choice words to say ‘Stop where you are,’” Kihlthau told FOX40.
When the 60-year-old pastor didn’t see a visible weapon, he tackled the suspect.
“We wrestled on the ground. Probably for at least five minutes before the sheriff got here,” he said. The fight went across the playground, across the grass and was very violent, “(I) beat him in the gut a few times. He scratched me in a few places.”
Everybody has their limit, and four break-ins and thousands of dollars in equipment, including three computers, was Pastor Steve’s.
“When Jesus said turn the other cheek, he wasn’t talking about letting them rip you off,” he said.
Kihlthau’s wife wasn’t too happy about her husband going a few rounds with a criminal and neither was his body. But, in his heart when he got out of bed later on Monday morning, was forgiveness.
“I prayed for him for a couple of things, number one is to get right with god in this life and get ready for the next life – my heart was back where it should be,” he said.
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 52-year-old Dwayne Hickingbottom and charged him with burglary, battery and vandalism.