Man charged with stealing from network

COSTA MESA — Unaware that a higher authority was watching over him, in this case Costa Mesa police, a Garden Grove man repeatedly stole from a donation box at the Trinity Broadcasting Network while wearing a shirt that said "God is Good," prosecutors said.

Robert Ellsworth Shorter Jr., 38, is charged with nine counts of felony second-degree burglary for a string of thefts on the church network property off of the San Diego (405) Freeway between July and September 2010.

Shorter was fired from his security job at TBN in 2008 for sleeping on the job, authorities said.

Two years later he returned, stealing a remote for a roll-up door to the TBN gift shop from an unlocked security car to get inside, officials said.

Security cameras show Shorter going into the gift shop and grabbing the donation box, turning it upside down and shaking out the envelopes full of money that had been put inside by churchgoers, prosecutors claim.

Authorities have not determined how much he allegedly stole. Officials said he often wore a blue shirt that said "God is Good" in white lettering during the crimes.

A TBN property manager recognized Shorter from the security videos and alerted police, who caught him in the act two days later while wearing the recognizable article of clothing.

Shorter is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. He faces up to eight years and four months in prison.

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