Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating what they say are connected acts of vandalism at area three churches.
Sheriff Matthew Myers says in a statement that vandals broke windows and damaged exterior flood and security lights at Triumphant Baptist Church sometime Monday night.
Police responded to a vandalism and attempted arson late Friday night or early Saturday morning at Ohio Chapel United Methodist Church in Columbus. Detective Will Kinman says the same night, a single window was broken at White Creek Methodist Church.
Myers said in the statement he believes the acts of vandalism are connected and, “this is a sign the vandals aren’t going to stop.”
Detective Will Kinman says the community should be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
“This biggest thing is just for the public to be alert, especially people that live in the area,” Kinman says. “They know who travels the roads daily, they know just about everybody coming and going. So if you see anything out of the ordinary, anything at all, whether it seems small, call us, let us check it out.”
Myers is urging other churches in the area to establish an emergency plan with parishioners and install security cameras if possible.
“Although our deputies are currently providing numerous extra patrols for county churches, all churches should have a plan for their facilities to be watched after hours,” Myers said. “If anyone sees anything unusual, call us.”
Myers says church staff should take time during services to talk to parishioners about emergency procedures, “not to scare them but to inform them.”
The statement says an alarm system at Triumphant Baptist spared the church from additional damage.
Brad Davis contributed to this report.