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Home  |  News  |  Church vandalized twice in one week

Church vandalized twice in one week
Friday, September 30, 2011

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Getsemani Church of God in West Columbia was hit by vandals twice in one week.

Now the church is struggling to clean up thousands of dollars in damage. The pastor says he doesn't know who did it or why, but he wants to find the person responsible, so he can forgive them.

Pastor Tony Ibarra says the church never used the back door, but someone knew it was the perfect place to break-in.

The person who broke into the church had all the time in the world, because of how concealed the area is, where the back door is located.

The pastor had no idea anything was wrong until the bible study group arrived.

"When they came to the back, to get the tables that they use in the sanctuary, they saw the mess," said Pastor Ibarra. "It was just vandalized inside, just a mess everywhere"

He says it took them days to clean up the sanctuary; the carpet was soaked with soda, equipment was broken, instruments were stolen and the stash of petty cash was missing.

"It wasn't just get in, get what you can and get out, they were here to just vandalize the place," said Pastor Ibarra.

A week later the church was vandalized again.

During the second break-in, the vandals trashed the building again, but this time leaving a message for the pastor and his congregation.

The vandals had spray painted inappropriate words with graffiti on the walls and floors.

"It's a very bad thing, it's a very bad situation to be in, with God, cause this is God's house, it's not my house you know, I just work here, it's God's house and that's the sad part," said Pastor Ibarra.

The pastor hopes his church is not being targeted because it's Hispanic, but after the messages that were written inside the church, raises concern.

The church has a security system installed now and Pastor Ibarra says he wants to know who's responsible for the break-ins, but not for the reasons some may think.

"I'd like to know who they are so I can you know, not go off on them or violence or anything," said Pastor Ibarra. "Just give them a message, a message of love, they need to learn love."

If you have any information on this crime, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.Source: http://www.wistv.com/story/15583703/church-vandalized-twice-in-one-week

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

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