Vandals rampage severely damages Norfolk church interior

| June 14, 2010

Vandals on Sunday severely damaged the inside of a church off Hampton Boulevard in a case Norfolk police say is the worst church vandalism they've seen.

A deacon at Christ First Community Fellowship, 133 Woodview Ave., discovered the damage about 6 p.m. Sunday, before evening services. It happened between the end of morning service, about noon, and 6 p.m., the Rev. Joe Spear said.

"It's heartbreaking," he said today as he waited for an insurance inspector to arrive. "It was done in broad daylight."

Police said they are investigating several suspects, but no arrests had been made.

The vandals smeared red paint on carpets, walls and pews throughout the sanctuary, offices and classrooms. They turned over chairs and furniture and emptied drawers and files in every room. They knocked over a lectern on the altar, knocked over the sound system, broke lanterns in the sanctuary and emptied food and ketchup throughout the kitchen.

Several small fires appear to have started, Spear said. Broken glass and thick yellow dust sprayed from fire extinguishers coat the interior. The only rooms untouched were the restrooms, he said. "It was devastating to see the damage."

Officer Chris Amos, a spokesman for Norfolk police, said that he had been to most church vandalisms in the city and that "none of ours touch this."

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Category: Church Security

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