Van­dals tar­get church again

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

Van­dals smashed their way into the Fin­ley Angli­can Church on Thurs­day and ran­sacked the church hall.

Rev­erend Stephen Davis said given noth­ing was stolen, he be­lieves the van­dals were just ‘‘mak­ing a nui­sance of them­selves’’.

A few days later, on Sun­day evening, the Fin­ley Recre­ation Re­serve, Fin­ley Pub­lic School and Fin­ley High School were all tar­gets of more van­dal­ism at­tacks.

Po­lice are re­view­ing CCTV footage taken Sun­day night, which they say shows three young peo­ple in the vicin­ity of at least one of the tar­geted lo­ca­tions.

At the church, the hall door is be­lieved to have been smashed to gain en­try about 5am on Thurs­day.

Rev Davis said it was a dis­ap­point­ing way to end the fes­tive sea­son, par­tic­u­larly as the cost of re­pair­ing the dam­age will have to be taken from the church’s other ac­tiv­i­ties.

It’s ac­tu­ally the sec­ond at­tack on the church, with van­dals spray paint­ing ‘Your God is Dead’ on the church no­tice board in Au­gust last year.

‘‘I’ve spo­ken with a few of the other churches and it looks like we were the only ones tar­geted, so it was ran­dom and prob­a­bly be­cause we are a soft tar­get,’’ Rev Davis said.

‘‘The peo­ple have ri­fled through just a few cup­boards and that was about it.

‘‘We keep noth­ing of value in the hall and noth­ing seems to be taken.

‘‘This (at­tack) doesn’t seem as ma­li­cious as the graf­fiti, when they were send­ing a di­rect mes­sage.

‘‘But yes, it’s frus­trat­ing to deal with be­cause of the cost to re­place the win­dow.

‘‘How­ever I’m not go­ing to be an­gry about it, be­cause I would then be be­ing ma­li­cious to­wards them.’’

Rev Davis has put other wouldbe van­dals and thieves on no­tice, telling them there’s no point break­ing into the church.

‘‘I can show them around the place, be­cause there’s noth­ing in the hall.

‘‘They can take some glasses we never use be­cause it would save me hav­ing to throw them out or take them to the op shop.

‘‘They can even give the hall a nice clean,’’ he joked.

At Fin­ley Pub­lic School, be­tween mid­day and 9pm on Sun­day, van­dals gained en­try to a de­mount­able class­room by smash­ing its win­dows.

In­side the class­room, paint was thrown around the room and pa­pers torn up and strewn every­where.

Win­dows to a per­ma­nent class­room were smashed.

In­side, van­dals gained ac­cess to the store­room and used the paint and other craft items in­side to dam­age other parts of the school.

Van­dals tar­geted the Fin­ley Apex Com­mu­nity & Sport­ing Com­plex at the Fin­ley Recre­ation Re­serve about 8.40pm Sun­day. Af­ter smash­ing win­dows they got in­side the com­plex and stole a num­ber of choco­lates.

Win­dows were also found smashed at Fin­ley High School on Mon­day.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the break-ins and van­dal­ism is asked to con­tact Fin­ley Po­lice on 5883 1044 or CrimeStop­pers on 1300 333 000.

Lee­ola Davis cleans up bro­ken class at the Fin­ley Angli­can Church fol­low­ing last week’s break-in.

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