Vandals break into Johnson County church, spray paint apology

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – Vandals broke into a Johnson County church, leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage, but showed remorse on the way out.

“My thing is maybe they really are sorry that they did it,” said Woodside Community Church Pastor Mark Petty.

Pastor Petty is stunned by the damage left behind by vandals who broke into the church near Center Grove.

“We think they came in the back door and did some nice graffitiing. Some nice artwork all over our walls,” said Pastor Petty.

The vandals, armed with spray paint, covered every single wall in swear words.

“They painted everything in here and as you can see some not so nice words that they put up,” said Pastor Petty.

But before they left, they apologized…in orange spray paint.

“You do not see too many people say ‘sorry we just realized this was a church,’” said Pastor Petty.

That apology just adds to the thousands of dollars in damage. It read, “sorry, just realized this wuz (sic) a church.”

“God loves you. He really does and we love you too. We are going to forgive you and we are going to move on and paint it but do not do it again,” said Pastor Petty.

The downstairs was covered in fire extinguisher foam, but nothing was taken.

“They did not steal a thing. I have computers and a 54-inch tv in there,” said Pastor Petty.

Neighbors say they saw three teens walking near the church on Tuesday afternoon around the time the damage was done. Pastor Petty says the building used to be a hot spot for teens and violence.

“It is probably a place that is familiar with them. This is not a rave club. This is a church now,” said Pastor Petty.

Julie Petty, the church’s youth leader, says her kids helped clean up the mess.

“When they came in they were heartbroken. They had been helping us redo the church,” said Petty.

Praying these suspects do not come back.

“At the end of it, we stood around in a circle and we prayed for the people that did it because it makes me sad to think about what is going on in their heart,” said Petty.

Right now, investigators are working to track the vandals down. If you have information, call the Johnson County Jail.

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