Aspiring evangelist charged in vandalism of church statues

| September 8, 2011

A vandal cut a destructive path across Camden and Burlington counties over several days in July, heavily damaging dozens of religious statues at nine Catholic churches.

Many religious pieces of art in Cherry Hill, Marlton and Mount Laurel were knocked over or struck with an object, possibly a baseball bat, police said.

Then, the vandalism spree stopped abruptly after news media reports included eyewitness descriptions of a suspect and a car at a Marlton church.

On Wednesday, Curtis Condell, 41, of Magnolia, was arrested during a meeting with authorities, Evesham Township Police Lt. Walt Miller said.

Condell, a drywall construction worker, has been charged with nine counts of criminal mischief and nine counts of bias intimidation, police said.

He was held on at least $100,000 bail at the Burlington County Jail. That bail may be increased with the addition of Cherry Hill's charges, police officials said.

On his Facebook page, Condell described himself as "a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ since my childhood (thank you Dad and Mom!)" and said he was "now working my way toward serving Christ as an evangelist."

On Thursday, his wife, Belinda Condell, denied that Curtis had damaged the statues and said she and Curtis are devout Christians who have attended Catholic festivals.

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Category: Church Security

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