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'We forgive him': Pastor holds suspected thief at gunpoint inside Tampa church

The pastor held Miguel Otero-Rivera at gunpoint until law enforcement showed up.

A pastor of a Tampa church held a burglary suspect at gunpoint as he waited for law enforcement to arrive, police said.

Pastor Clifton Adams responded to a burglary alarm early Thursday morning inside Seminole Heights Baptist Church.

Tampa police say the pastor found Miguel Otero-Rivera inside holding a laptop computer owned by the church. Authorities say Adams held Otero-Rivera at gunpoint until they arrived. 

While Pastor waited on police, he said this:

“I just told him, I said 'you know you’re stealing from people that need help. You’re stealing from people that need help with their dental work, you’re stealing from people that need food, you’re stealing from people that are trying to help folks,'" Adams said.

Police then arrested Otero-Rivera.

“Part of it is just who I am, to protect the people I love and the places that I love, protect these people who sacrifice greatly to be able to help a lot of people," Adams said. "And give a lot to help a lot of people.”

Investigators said Otero-Rivera entered the church through a window on the west side of the building.

“The money that we’re spending now to fix this is taking away from money that we could be using to help people," Adams said.

Police said Otero-Rivera apologized just before he was arrested.

“Know that we forgive him, we don’t offer him any malice but if he has a court date, I’ll show up and tell him what he did because God is a just God," Adams said.

Otero-Rivera is charged with burglary, grand theft, possession of burglary tool, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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