Church vandalism politically-motivated, Sheriff says

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. -- Deputies are investigating a case of vandalism at a local church that they say has a political meaning behind it. 

Beer cans and bottles were on the front lawn, with the message, "If you don't want the tax, take the trash."

Sheriff Chris Bowman in Alexander County describes the county as divided on an alcohol referendum that's going to a vote on election day in November. Pictures were taken of vandalism at Grace Baptist Church. 

"Different types of beer cans and bottles thrown on the property of the church," said Sheriff Bowman.

The church has taken a strong stance against the alcohol referendum, going as far as to put a huge sign out front that says "vote against alcohol."

The county's Board of Elections says in the town of Taylorsville, stores can sell beer and wine and there's one ABC store. But the county itself has been dry for as long as Sheriff Bowman says he can remember.

"Alexander County has a whole lot of religious views and they really hold their morals on a high standard," said Steven Williams.

This November the referendum will be on the ballot with items that could allow all forms of alcohol to be sold anywhere in the county.

"You always hear, 'I need to go across the river, I need to go across the bridge,'" said Williams, who lives in the county. "It would probably save them gas money and add a lot of convenience in their life."

Back in 2013, a similar referendum went to a vote but didn't pass. Sheriff Bowman says they've been getting progressively more calls of vandalism caused by people on both sides of the issue.

"If it continues, it seems like it may get more serious as time goes on closer to the Election Day," Bowman said. "And that's something we don't want."

The Sheriff says they haven't made any arrests yet in that church vandalism, but they have some strong leads.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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