Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Hutchinson church community is on edge as investigators search for those responsible for a rash of vandalism. In a matter of two months, five churches have been hit. Nothing has stolen, but the perpetrators left behind thousands of dollars in damage.
It started in March when someone broke into Hutchinson's Tenth Avenue Methodist Church through a side window. The vandals clogged the toilet and flooded both the main floor and the basement, ruining the carpet, wood trim and ceiling tiles.
In a matter of just five weeks, the vandals struck four more churches, destroying expensive stained glass windows, doors and crosses. So far, the damage total has reached more than $10,000. Hutchinson Police Sgt. Paul Sack says the target is clear, but the motive is not.
"It appears the intent is to cause a significant amount of damage to these places of worship," said Sack.
Police have few leads in the vandalism cases, but believe it may be a group of people committing the crimes. Sack says police hope the vandals will soon get bold and start bragging about their crimes.
"We're hoping someone has heard something, bragged about it," he said.
Members of congregations all over Hutchinson want the cases solved before another church can be targeted. If you have any information that could help find the vandals, you're asked to call the police.