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Police Search For Suspects Responsible For Vandalizing Churches

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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Two cases of vandalism have rocked the Baltimore-area Catholic community.

Weijia Jiang has more on the crimes and the search for the suspects.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore says what may be most alarming about the vandalism is that it happened twice, at two different locations, just two days apart.

Along Bosley Avenue in Towson, a holy symbol of the Immaculate Conception Church is gone.

“Anybody could see from any distance, was a big one,” said Sotirios Mitlineos.

Mitlineos is talking about a white cement statue of the Virgin Mary that usually stands on a stone pedestal.  Police say over the weekend, someone knocked it down.  The left hand broke off, the base was chipped and the spotlight that shines on her was disconnected.

“The Virgin Mary is the patron of the parish so there’s a special devotion and emphasis to that statue,” said Sean Caine, Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Caine says what’s even more disheartening is the fact that just two days before the statue was tarnished, one of St. Frances Assisi at St. Michael’s the Archangel in Overlea lost its head.

“It did look like it was intentional.  Someone meant to do mischief or vandalism.  This was no accident,” said Karl Stein.

Stein, who maintains the church grounds, says the statue was in a secluded flower bed.  Now he’s working to glue the pieces back together.

“I’m pretty shocked someone would do that to a religious statue,” Stein said.

Staff members have yet to find the Virgin Mary statue’s missing hand.  They plan to repair it as soon as possible.

Police say at this point, they don’t have any leads in either case.  They are trying to determine if they are linked in any way.

If you have information, please call police.

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