Couple accused of burglarizing Freeland church

A man and woman are facing charges for allegedly stealing from a South Whidbey church last week, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Ernest W. Zelnick, 24, and Margaret C. Schwantes, 43, in Island County Superior Court Nov. 28 with burglary in the second degree and theft in the third degree.

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a burglary at the Christian Life Center in Freeland Nov. 21.

Two people had entered the church and stolen money, food and small electronics, the police report states.

A church employee told the deputy that the security system had captured a close-up video of a man as he was unplugging a camera; the system also captured the sound of a woman’s voice, the report states.

In addition, a custodian who worked at the church reported seeing a small blue hatchback car in the church parking lot.

The image of the suspect was distributed throughout the department and another deputy identified him as Zelnick, the deputy wrote.

The deputy also said Zelnick lives in a small blue hatchback with his girlfriend, Schwantes.

The deputies found the car parked in Freeland and arrested Zelnick on suspicion of burglary.

The deputies also contacted to Schwantes at her work; she allegedly admitted that she was with Zelnick in the church because they are looking for food, the report states.

If convicted of the charges against them, Zelnick and Schwantes could face up to 364 days in jail under the standard sentencing range.

More in News

Left to right: Eva Wirth, Emma Callahan, Chloe Goethel, Macie Vande Werfhorst, Naomi Atwood, Gabe Gandarias, Maddox Smith-Heacox & Max Rodriguez. Not pictured: Emmett Layman, Zander Kuschnerei and coach Clyde Monma.
SW Middle School Math Teams Capture 5 Medals

South Whidbey Middle School entered five teams in the Washington State Math… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth nurses trained to assess victims of sexual assault are left to right: Jackie Blankenship, Rebecca Pina, program manager Jackie Bassett, Jacqueline Moore and Sherry Phay. Cynde Robinson, director of Coalition against Domestic Violence, is in the back row. Team member nurses Krista Burckhardt, Gayle Wallen and Tonya DeYoung were unavailable for the photo.
Sexual assault victims can be assessed locally

WhidbeyHealth trains specialty nurse team

Aurora Coffey
South Whidbey High School student wins AAUW prize

South Whidbey High School student, Aurora Coffey, won First Place and a… Continue reading

Town talk pinpoints people and paths

Langley takes step in mapping trails

Langley Police Chief David Marks
Prosecutor declines to charge chief

The Island County prosecutor declined to charge Langley Police Chief David Marks… Continue reading

Island County looks at building air park road

Island County will apply for a grant to study the potential of… Continue reading

Photo provided 
                                Left to right: Grace Callahan, Carli Newman, Oliana Stang, Sean Miles, Magnus Nyberg, Max Rodriguez, Aidan O’Brien, Annika Hustad (Not pictured: Coach Clyde Monma)
SW High School math teams place 1st in state

Three South Whidbey High School math teams earned a trip to the… Continue reading

Tourism tax committee members needed

Langley council forming advisory group

Loose goats found, owner wanted

A South Whidbey woman is trying to find the owner of a… Continue reading

Most Read