Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Vandals deface statues at 2 N.J. churches

Vineland Police Department
Gallery: Vandals deface statues at 2 N.J. churches

Police are looking for suspects in what they’re calling the “heinous” vandalism of religious statues at two Vineland, N.J. churches.

Officers were on Thursday dispatched to the Sacred Heart Church, located at 922 E. Landis Ave., for a report of criminal mischief. An investigation revealed sometime during the night, vandals viciously defaced several religious statues.

Officers were several hours later called to Divine Mercy Parish, located about two miles away at 23 W. Chestnut Ave. There, they found several statutes were damaged in the same manner as those at Sacred Heart.

According to photos released by police, some of the figures were beheaded, while others were missing their hands. A sculpture of the holy family was left with holes smashed in the faces of Mary and Joseph as they cradled a headless baby Jesus. Another statue was severed in half, one piece left laying in the snow.

Investigators said the incidents cost the two churches a total of $16,000 in damages. No suspects had yet been identified Friday but detectives were combing through video gathered from nearby surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call the Vineland Police Department at 856-691-4111.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Alex Wigglesworth PHILLY.COM
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