North Alabama man accused of stealing $20K from church

North Alabama man accused of stealing $20K from church
(Source: Madison County Jail)
(Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville man is accused of stealing more than $20,000 from his church and church members tell police he confessed to the crime in front of the entire congregation.

Gary Bradley III, 38, who goes by Tripp, was arrested Friday and charged with theft of property. He has since been released on $30,000 bond.

According to police, Bradley embezzled money from Mayfair Church of Christ, located on Carl T. Jones Drive, by taking and depositing funds into an account he controlled.

The church's lead minister says Bradley is a member of the church who has helped with the weekly collection during services.

The crime was first reported to Huntsville police on March 12.

Lt. Michael Johnson, spokesman for the Huntsville Police Department, says the bank questioned the suspicious nature of the deposits into Bradley's account since all of the checks were made out to the church.

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage from the bank which captured Bradley depositing checks into an ATM.

He'd been making deposits since last fall, Johnson said.

Witnesses told police that Bradley recently got in front of Mayfair Church of Christ and announced that he had been stealing money.

Court documents filed in Madison County District Court state that Bradley: "Between September 1, 2017, did knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control over the following property, to-wit: Checks/U.S. Currency, or property of any value taken from the person of another, the property of, to-wit: Mayfair Church of Christ, of the value of, to-wit: $20,300, with the intent to deprive the owner of said property..."

Tripp Bradley is the grandson of Dr. Gary Bradley, retired senior pastor of Mayfair Church of Christ who had been a minister there for more than 30 years.

Originally, Lt. Johnson said Bradley's wife, Sarah, could also face charges in connection with the case because evidence shows she was with her husband at the time certain deposits were made. He later released information, stating that while she was originally a suspect, authorities don't have complete evidence necessary against her to make an arrest.

Dr. Jason Bybee, the lead minister for Mayfair Church of Christ, said the church has no comment on the ongoing investigation.

CORRECTION: The story has been updated to reflect that Gary 'Tripp' Bradley III is a church member, and not a minister as originally reported by WAFF 48. Gary Bradley, who is the grandfather of Gary 'Tripp' Bradley III, is accurately listed on the website as a minister.

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