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‘Total destruction’ -- Lansing church broken into, vandalized

‘Total destruction’ -- Lansing church broken into, vandalized
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 10:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Police are running DNA samples to figure out who broke into a Lansing church Thursday night.

Church leaders said blood was found in one of the rooms the thief and vandal rummaged through.

Stephen Hammes showed News 10 how badly the True North Community Church was hit by vandals. After stealing a number of electronics and destroying the place, they sprayed the building with a fire extinguisher.

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“None of this is able to be used ever again,” Hammes said.

After they had noticed the place had been ransacked, they found a broken window, which they believe the perpetrator reached through and was able to unlatch the window -- giving them access to the entire building.

Something many people don’t realize is the materials inside fire extinguishers damage and corrode electronics, meaning all their computers and other electronic objects will have to be replaced.

“With the fire extinguisher dust, it has actually covered the entire stage. Because those particles in there, if we were to have a cleaning team come in, they have actually already recommended that if they clean it, it will continue to rise and it will be this continuous cleaning cycle,” Hammes said. “So they’re recommendation is to actually rip out all of the carpet. That goes from the lobby, to the stage and to our offices as well.”

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“We feel for the kid, even before the perpetrators,” said Gary Schnepp. “Whoever they are, just know they are forgiven.”

Schnepp is a pastor at the church. He said it’s frustrating, but all he wants is whoever is responsible to come forward and apologize.

“Wouldn’t it be awesome if the guys saw something like that on the news and said, ‘You know what? We screwed up,’” Schnepp said. “If they just came back and said, ‘Hey, we’re sorry.’ The love part for us is to journey with them.”

According to Schnepp, the vandalism caused at least $5,000 to the electronics alone. The church is still waiting to get an estimate for the carpet and any of the furniture that would need to be replaced as well.

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