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HILLSBORO, Oregon — Patrons of an LDS church building in Oregon are baffled by the severe vandalism left behind earlier this week.
“It really shakes you up, you don't expect it, it comes as a surprise,” said Reed Curtis, ward clerk at the vandalized building for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Church members were taken by surprise Monday morning when they found a mess inside the building.
Police say two male teens, 15 and 16 years old, broke in through a window and vandalized the church.
The two teens took a hammer to the walls and beat up electronic equipment. Clerk offices were smashed up, the basketball court was trashed, and even a picture of Jesus Christ was defaced.
“A church isn't a place you expect to have a security system and add security to the premise, it should be a safe place,” said Curtis.
The damage is estimated to be around $20,000 to $30,000.
Police say the same two teens struck two more times in the area, vandalizing two other churches.
Despite all of this, Church members said they would welcome the teens to church meetings if they were to show up Sunday.
A spokesman for the Church issued this statement as a response:
“We are troubled by the vandalism which has occurred to the various churches in the area. Our Church buildings are places of worship for the community where all are welcome.”
The two male suspects are in custody for possible vandalism and criminal mischief charges.
Police said there are no signs that this was a hate crime.