Charlotte pastor charged in armed robberies of 9 businesses

John Thomas Lindsey

BY JOE MARUSAK – Charlotte Observer

John Thomas Lindsey

A Charlotte pastor was arrested Wednesday in connection with nine armed robberies of businesses.

John Thomas Lindsey, 47, pastor of True Love Church of Refuge on Nations Ford Road, was charged with nine counts each of robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon

Fernando Hernandez-Castillo Mecklenburg County jail

“We, the leadership and membership of True Love Church of Refuge, are deeply saddened and disappointed that our leader and brother, John Thomas Lindsey, is facing charges associated with criminal activity,” the church posted on Facebook. “Though we denounce any involvement he may have had, we love him and will continue to pray for him.

“The ministry will continue to stand strong despite the latest allegations and will continue to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police charged Fernando Carrillo-Hernandez, 24, in connection with three of the robberies.

Robberies included ones on Dec. 26 at the 7-Eleven in the 1800 block of Freedom Drive; Dec. 27 at Circle Ks in the 9500 block of University City Boulevard and the 7000 block of The Plaza; Dec. 21 at the Circle K and Kangaroo Express in the 7000 block of East W.T. Harris Boulevard; Dec. 22 at the Circle K in the 5000 block of Sunset Road; Oct. 19 at Family Dollar in the 7900 block of Valleydale Road; and Jan. 19 at Sam’s Marts in the 5200 block of South Boulevard and 3300 block of Sam Futrell Drive.

Lindsey was in the Mecklenburg County jail on $565,000 bail. Carrillo-Hernandez was jailed on $225,000 bail.

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