Local church vandalized overnight, police asking for public’s help to find suspect

Local church vandalized overnight, police asking for public’s help to find suspect
Spokane Police Department

At 5:30 Friday morning, the first person to show up at Bethel Church of the Nazarene realized something was wrong. The lights of the church wouldn’t turn on.

Spokane Police were called and it wasn’t long before it was determined the church had been burglarized, and it wasn’t the usual burglary.

“Typically when burglars get into a place, they take what is easy, what is going to earn them cash, and they get out,” said Corporal Teresa Fuller, “this burglar took the time to really wreck the church.”

In addition to throwing tea, coffee and communion wafers across the church, going through the church’s refrigerators and eating some of the food, the burglar also tried to rip a urinal, a sink, and a water fountain off the wall.

On the lower floor of the church, the burglar had broken a window in the kitchen to enter.

The damage wasn’t limited to the lower floor however.

“To break in is forgivable, but it’s disappointing that they would do that,” said Associate Pastor, Sonya Miller. “They ripped the cabinet doors off of a custom cabinet in our nursery, and we are pretty sure it can’t be repaired.”

Miller says she’s grateful the damage wasn’t worse though, the burglar left the main sanctuary alone.

“They could have done more damage with upholstered pews, with sound equipment, carpeting,” she said, “those things were left alone so we are grateful for that.”

Miller says if the burglar had been in need of shelter, food or assistance the church would have been more than happy to have helped. They have a benevolence fund for aiding the needy. But now they will have to use donations made to the church by congregation members to repair the building instead of adding to that fund.

Investigators with police say the burglar left plenty of evidence, including foot prints and fingerprints.

They are looking for the public’s help to come up with a name to match those prints to. Anyone with information or that may have seen anything suspicious is encouraged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.