Police continue investigations as church vandalisms increase

Vandals continue to target Charlotte area churches

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are new concerns over crime at local churches, after several more have been targeted.

Over the weekend, two churches were vandalized and a seminary were struck by a bullet.

All of it comes after three other churches were broken into just last week.

Police have made one arrest in the most recent case.

The suspect resisted arrested outside the Oakhurst Baptist Church while Sunday services were happening inside. During the arrest, investigators say he broke the door window.

This happened just one day after someone broke lights worth hundreds of dollars at the Freedom Christian Center’s outdoor shelter.

“It’s a shame, we’re out here trying to do God’s work, and here they are trying to hinder us,” says church elder, Kevin Wagstaff.

The same weekend, the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary was targeted.

Police say someone shot a bullet through one of the windows. The seminary sent a letter to students and staff saying it is stepping up security in light of the recent incident.

Last week, NBC Charlotte reported on three other churches broke into, including Reeder Memorial Baptist Church.

Pastor Thomas Farrow shared video surveillance, which he said shows a masked man kicking down his office door.

“I just wish I could have had some conversation with this person, before they sunk to this level,” said Pastor Farrow.

Police say they’re looking into whether any of the cases are connected.

“We’re just trying to help people in the neighborhood and the community and they come out and vandalize the church and tear up stuff for no reason at all,” said Wagstaff.

Police say the suspect who was arrested had an outstanding warrant for trespassing.

A church employee at Oakhurst Baptist Church tells NBC Charlotte officers checked on the suspect after he was spotted acting suspiciously.

So far, no arrests have been made in the two other cases from over the weekend.  Police say they are actively investigating.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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