Rash of car vandalism in New Albany church parking lot

| September 21, 2010

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – Someone turned the peace of church into a police investigation over the weekend and now detectives want to know who. They're turning to us hoping someone can provide them with tips.

The members of Grace Lutheran Church in New Albany came out of service Sunday morning and found someone's idle hands, while maybe not the devil's workshop, sure did a lot of damage.

Parishioner Brian Loppnow says before that, it was just like any other day at Grace Lutheran.

"Just enjoying a good service, the choir was singing, having a little fellowship afterwards," he said. "When everybody came out, found out there was about 18 to 20 cars keyed, all around the parking lot, different spaces."

His mini-van was one of the damaged vehicles. New Albany Police detectives say so far they've gotten complaints from 22 people and they expect that number to rise. Loppnow says the vandalism is especially disheartening since it happened at church.

"I would have thought that that would have been a place that I didn't have to worry about it," he said.

Even the church's own van was not exempt from the damage and police say the vandals apparently came back for more.

New Albany Police Chief of Detectives, Captain Keith Whitlow, said church staff, "called this morning about it and then when they went out to show her, well it's worse now than it was when we saw it before."

Loppnow has a pretty good idea who should be on the top of the list of possible culprits.

"I figure it was probably, you know, neighborhood kids," he said. "I figure they just enjoyed themselves sitting up there watching us."

The damage, he says, is far from funny.

"I enjoy a good joke as everybody, but I don't like destruction," said Loppnow. "There's just no cause for that."

Whoever damaged the car is looking at a possible criminal mischief charge and if the damage adds up to enough money, it could be a felony.

Captain Whitlow says right now, they're not sure who that is. If you know who might be responsible, you can call the New Albany Police crime tip line at 812-948-NAPD (6273.)



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