Children charged in church vandalism

June 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., June 16 (UPI) -- Two girls and three boys ages 9 and 10 were charged in juvenile petitions with burglary and vandalism at a Norfolk, Va., church Sunday, authorities said.

An insurance inspector Tuesday examined the building where vandals smeared red paint throughout the building, offices were littered with paperwork and art supplies, the kitchen floor was covered with potato chips, ketchup and crackers, glass separating a crying room from the sanctuary was shattered and audio equipment was overturned, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.

The vandals also sprayed fire extinguishers throughout the church, coating it with thick yellow dust.

"Meanness and hatred is not going to help these kids," the Rev. Joe Spear, pastor of Christ First Community Fellowship, said. "I'm sorry for them as well as sorry for the parents that it had to come to this."

After the children were charged, they were released to their parents.

Cleanup is expected to cost as much as $8,000, the newspaper said.

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