Chesapeake church vandalized minutes before Sunday worship

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A church is hoping surveillance video will help them track down the person who vandalized their property just minutes before Sunday services.

At 9:02 a.m., the video shows what appears to be a young man on a bike arriving at the New Rose of Elim Baptist Church. The suspect is seen spray painting the church marquee for about 20 seconds before moving closer to the church, where he sprayed the word ‘die’ on a church van, according to Anthony Isaac.

Isaac, a deacon at the church, sifted through surveillance video for more than three hours on Monday. He says he was surprised the crime happened during the day and while several church members were inside the building getting set up for Sunday school.

“You would think people would have more respect,” said Isaac. “He was so bold.”

The video shows the man ride around to the back of church. Just seconds later, he got off his bike and spray painted some words on the brick wall.

Isaac suspects the vandal is a teenager.

“He doesn’t have the respect that most older people who have been involved with church would have or he’s upset with somebody and just doing it,” said Isaac. “It just seemed like something random.”

By 9:05 a.m., after just three minutes, the video shows the suspect ride his bike through the bushes and down Tatemstown Road.

“I haven’t seen anything like that happen in the neighborhood,” said Pastor Tom Spoors, who leads the Fairview Church of Christ next door.

Spoors says he hopes someone will recognize the person in the video and he hopes the crime is a turning point in the suspect’s life.

“To vandalize or steal from a church, that’s evoking a little bit of a curse instead of a blessing,” said Spoors. “I hope they have a real change in their life because that kind of behavior is no way to live. Eventually, it’ll catch up to them.”