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Baltimore County Parish Vandalized Overnight

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church vandalism
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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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HALETHORPE, Md. (WJZ)— A Baltimore County church is desecrated and the search continues for whomever is behind it.

Linh Bui talked to members of the Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension and shows us the damage.

This Catholic church was established in 1913. There have been minor incidents here before — like garbage left on the campus–but nothing this drastic has ever happened.

It’s a heartbreaking sight at a place of worship.

“It’s terrible. It’s sad; it brought tears to my eyes,” said church member Deanna Milnor.

Overnight, vandals hit the Catholic church. A three-foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary was smashed to the ground.

“Why would somebody do something like that? I don’t understand,” said church daycare worker Debbie Mezewski.

A smaller statue behind it had the head broken off.

A plaque with the image of the Virgin Mary used to hang at the entrance, but after Tuesday night’s vandalism, only a piece is left.

Important religious objects are in pieces on the ground. For the community, this cuts deep.

“It’s disturbing that someone would be so hateful or filled with so much anger that they would do something like this,” said Father John Williamson.

No one saw it happen and security cameras did not capture the vandalism.

Members have a message for whomever did this.

“Please find something else to do that’s not destructive. Maybe be creative instead of destroying things,” Mezewski said.

“Why would you do something like that? What did you gain from it? You hurt people and got nothing out of it,” Milnor said.

The pastor just hopes the vandals understand the severity of their actions.

“As Catholics, this is considered very disrespectful, an attack on our beliefs, so it’s very disturbing for the community,” he said.

The church marks its 100th anniversary this year. Cleaning up this mess is not how they wanted to celebrate.

The church plans to upgrade its security system to prevent this from happening again.

The church has to replace everything that was vandalized because the damage was too significant to repair.

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