Church radio station office trashed

| July 21, 2010

It may not have been stealing from the collection plate at a church, but vandals trashed a church’s radio station.

The office of Oakside Baptist Church’s outreach ministry WOAK was broken into about 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The front window of the Hamilton Road building was shattered, as well as some smaller windows around the doors, as intruders climbed inside, turning over desks, throwing plants and attempting to destroy computers in the front office.

“I think what they did was they threw everything off the desk,” said manager Rick Varnum. “There was a bunch of papers – they just thrashed it.”

Varnum’s desk was overturned, a Ficus plant thrown across the room into a bookshelf, and his telephone was lying on the floor amid a group of books and papers.

A nearly 30-pound rock was used to smash the front window.

While the vandals trashed the office, they didn’t break or steal anything in the station’s studio.

“There were so many expensive things,” Varnum said. “I think they were just kids who wanted to trash.”

A BP station clerk across the street called 911 after he heard the intruders smashing the windows.

“The guy across the street needs to be commended. He saw it,” Varnum said. “When they finally broke the big window, that caught his attention and he saw them hopping in.”

Police with canine units followed the vandals’ trails to the American Legion Golf Club nearby before it was lost.

“They must have slipped past them somehow,” Varnum said, praising police for their timely arrival.

“They did a good job,” he said. “They were very courteous and very helpful.”

The vandals caused more than $2,000 damage. Varnum, daughter Amy and other church members were busy cleaning the office Tuesday morning, putting it back into shape.

The radio station, much like Varnum’s office, was in operation later that day.

Varnum put a positive spin on the vandalism.

“I needed to straighten my desk anyway,” he said.

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Category: Church Security