GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) — Members of Calvary Baptist Church in Graniteville are upping their security following several recent vandalisms. This most recent incident cost more than $2-thousand dollars. This one making the third or fourth one in about a month.
“Every member that came up and wanted to look over this way couldn’t believe it,” Larry Duffer told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. Duffer, a member of the Deacon board says that in his 25 years of attending the Graniteville church, he never saw anything as he saw recently. “I counted 26 window panes busted out,” he recalled.
Several broken windows, vulgar messages, egged doors with writing on them as well awaited parishioners Sunday morning. “We considered it to be premediated because they brought eggs to egg the doors and marking pens to write what they wrote,” Duffer added.
While nothing was stolen, this incident is an escalation from recent vandalism at the church established before the 1950s. “We had some break-ins where a couple of young boys broke into the church. They actually busted out screens and a window and went inside the building. This Sunday morning, they did not go inside the building they just did the vandalism,” Duffer said.
And what a difference a week makes. The repairs took nearly that long to complete.
But for Duffer forgiveness is the way to go but the suspect or suspects will need to come forward — first.” God loves you and he can forgive you and we will too but let us know who you are if you will,” he said.
Right now the church is working to get a security system there. If you would like to help out, you can give the church office a call at (803) 663-7601.
On Tuesday, August 28 at around 9:30 p.m., Aiken deputies arrested 18-year-old Christian Skylar Morris in connection with the most recent incident. The teenager is charged with malicious injury to real property more than $2,000. “Investigators are currently working on identifying and locating a female juvenile (14-15 yo) that is suspected in being involved in this case,” according to Captain Eric Abdullah.
“We are grateful to several citizens that assisted in providing information that lead to the arrest of Morris,” Sheriff Michael Hunt said. “Even though we have an arrest, there is still work to be done with this investigation. It is my hope that this serves as an example of what is possible from the collaborative efforts between citizens of Aiken County and the Sheriff’s Office, he added.
Meanwhile, if you have any information about the vandalism, you’re asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office. You can provide information anonymously through Midlands Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Your tip could earn you a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for any crime.