Beaufort News

Beaufort pastor wanted on harassment, burglary charges

A Beaufort pastor is wanted on harassment and burglary charges after he allegedly followed a woman for nearly three months, using electronic tracking and bugging devices, according to a Beaufort Police Department report released Tuesday.

Ronald Von Fricken, pastor of TLC Ministries of Beaufort, is wanted on charges of second-degree harassment, second-degree burglary, and unlawful interception of an oral communication after investigators found devices to track movement and listen to conversations on the woman's property, according to the report.

The victim went to police June 11, alleging that Von Fricken had continuously tried to contact her against her wishes since April. Von Fricken allegedly called the victim numerous times and sent her emails and messages despite her asking him to stop.

He followed the woman to and from various locations, and even showed up at the Police Department as the victim filed her report, police said. She told police she had spotted Von Fricken's car near her home and that she had seen him follow her to work.

Attempts to obtain more details from police on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

A recovering drug addict, Von Fricken set up Transforming Lives through Christ Ministries in Beaufort County in 2009 to help men, some homeless, overcome their drug dependency and find faith, according to previous statements by him to The Beaufort Gazette.

The ministry, based at the Family Worship Center in Sheldon, operated a thrift store in the Beaufort Plaza Shopping Center on Robert Smalls Parkway. In November 2010, thieves stole $16,000 in tools and equipment from the ministry's workshop in Sheldon. No arrests were made in the case.

Von Fricken says on his LinkedIn page that TLC Ministries is a "nonprofit addiction recovery center serving the Lowcountry," which he started 13 years ago.

"I have a degree in chemical dependency counseling from New York Suffolk Community College," he writes on LinkedIn. "And have been working in this field for 23 years."

Attempts to reach Von Fricken on Tuesday were unsuccessful.