Edwards MichaelAt approximately 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, officers with the Benton Police Department responded to Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Coats Road for a report of a burglary and witnesses told officers the suspect had fled on foot. Officers later found 19-year-old Michael J. Edwards of Bryant on Coats Road matching the description of the suspect.

Witnesses told officers that two bicycles were noticed parked behind the church basement and a white male exit the basement. Witnesses said the suspect, when confronted, fled through the basement and ran out through the front door. Witnesses later identified Edwards as the suspect and he was taken into custody.

A cell phone and a jacket containing a debit card was located in the church basement and Edwards claimed ownership of the items. Edwards was taken to the Saline County Detention Center and faces charges of Commercial Burglary, Theft of Property, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Anyone with information about this incident, the suspect or a crime is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send us an anonymous crime tip about this incident to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play. Any suspects listed are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Follow BNPD on Facebook: