Man arrested for stealing electricity from church

Pastor Chuck Padgett of Trinity Assembly of God Church in Fruitland Park was inspecting the church grounds at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. As Padgett turned the corner of the building, he discovered a man lying on the side of the building, in only underwear.

“I was walking the property just checking it out. I saw this person laying in the flower bed there, passed out,” said Pastor Padgett.

The man not only was using the church’s exterior outlet to charge devices, but he broke the power socket in doing so. Padgett says he called 911 because he thought the man was dead.

Fruitland Park Police woke 37-year-old Maximiliano Servin up, and after a search, the arrest report states that police found a pipe filled containing meth residue.

“They were taking him into jail and they (police officers) said, ‘he’s taken electricity from you and destroyed your plug, we’re going to put that charge on him too,’ and I said ‘okay,” said Padgett.

Padgett says, it is the first time someone has stolen electricity from the church but he believes water has been stolen because the bill has jumped up and he found empty water bottles on the property.“

Just coming on our property and taking something without asking and destroying the property, that’s what hurts,” said Padgett.

But Padgett isn’t losing faith and will continue to help those in need.

“This is just one out of a hundred that is taking advantage of these people and Trinity Assembly of God,” said Padgett. “We’re not stopping what we do because of this incident, we’re gonna still take care of the homeless.”

Linda Galat and her husband run the church’s homeless outreach program. She says she’s gotten to know Servin through the program and hopes he gets the help he needs.

“Hopefully through an institution, through a prison ministry, he will get the love that Jesus has for him and be able to fill the void,” said Galat.

Parishioners say homeless people live in woods near the church, many of them attend worship. The pastor invites anyone who needs help to ask him, rather than steal.

Servin is facing six charges in reference to the incident, including theft, burglary and drug charges. The police report indicates a small bag of meth was later found in his sock.