Police in Texas are looking for a man caught on video vandalizing a church building. Officers in the US say the individual may be responsible for five additional criminal acts at buildings belonging to other congregations.
Security cameras caught video of a man inside the Missionary Baptist Church of Hughes Springs, Texas, where offices were ransacked and money set aside for a congregation member’s funeral was stolen. Nearby Turkey Creek Baptist church and New Colony Baptist Church had damage to their buildings that appeared to have happened in a similar manner. Two other churches have been targeted since January.
Police have not said why the vandals targeted specifically church buildings.
Sheriff’s deputies in the US say they have arrested a woman who broke windows, destroyed church property, and vandalized graves at a church.
Moore County, North Carolina Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a press release that the damage was done on Dec. 29, 2020 at Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Carthage, North Carolina. When deputies arrived at the church they found damage to multiple grave markers, windows, and other miscellaneous items on the church property. Sheriff Fields said deputies quickly found a person of interest in the area who was subsequently charged in connection with the crimes.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson has identified the person arrested as Jasmine Shereece Frye, 34, of Carthage, NC. She faces 10 counts of Felony Disturbing Grave Markers, 1 count of misdemeanor injury to real property, and one count of littering.
Jail records show Frye is held on $25,000 US bond.
Shereece is scheduled to appear before a judge on March 3, 2021.
File news reports from the area say the same church was vandalized last year. Cameras were installed following that attack. Video from those cameras of this year’s attack is being reviewed by detectives.
The 231-year-old building is home to a community of Franciscan Friars
Sheriff’s deputies in Indiana arrested the man they say is responsible for a string of church vandalism cases. Renzo Signorino, 20, of Columbus, Indiana, is charged with numerous crimes against congregations in Brown County, Indiana including burglary, institutional criminal mischief, and felony level theft. Investigators say his victims include the congregations of the Way of Holiness Tabernacle, St. Agnes Catholic Church of Nashville, and the Pikes Peak Church of Christ. A police spokesperson said more charges are pending.
According to a report in The Republic newspaper, investigators were able to file charges after they received a tip from an FBI agent who was investigating vandalism at a synagogue. The Brown County Democrat says the agent contacted investigators on August 19 after the suspect in the synagogue vandalism told authorities she and Signorino had previously targeted other houses of worship. Further investigation uncovered evidence that implicated Signorino.
A Sheriff’s Office news release lists the following charges as of Friday:
Burglary – Level 5 Felony (Way of Holiness Tabernacle Church)
Theft – Class A Misdemeanor (Way of Holiness Tabernacle Church)
Institutional Criminal Mischief – Class A Misdemeanor (Way of Holiness Tabernacle Church)