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Suspected church burglars nabbed in traffic stop

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Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies arrested two men on suspicion of stealing two cars and thousands of dollars in supplies from a San Jose church last week.

Deputies first made contact with the men, Austin Hudson, 28, and Andrew Miller, 35, on the afternoon of Sept. 18 after a traffic stop near Valley Transportation Authority property in Downtown San Jose. The car was pulled over because it allegedly had an expired registration sticker.

Deputies searched the car and found burglary tools, two sets of car keys labeled “Toyota” and “Honda,” musical instruments, an amplifier and drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff’s office.

Miller was also allegedly found with controlled substances, according to sheriff’s officials, and he was arrested on suspicion of drug violations, possessing burglary tools and for violating felony probation. He was booked into the county jail with no bail on Sept. 19.

Deputies said they confiscated the other car keys and instruments after neither man claimed ownership of the musical items. After examining the instruments, deputies said they found a pamphlet belonging to the Chinese for Christ Church in San Jose.

According to sheriff’s officials, the church confirmed it had been burglarized a couple days before and said a Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna used to transport handicapped churchgoers had also been stolen.

Deputies allegedly found both vehicles on Sept. 20 a short distance away from Hudson’s residence and obtained a search warrant for his house the next day. Deputies said they found additional items missing from the church after serving the warrant.

Hudson was arrested at his workplace on suspicion of burglary on Sept. 24 and booked into the county jail with bail set at $21,000.

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