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Vandals cost church $800 to fix patio wall

Posted at 12:29 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 13:18:14-04

New Hope United Methodist Church at the corner of Seneca Street and Thorndale Avenue in West Seneca has been the target for vandals recently.

Reverend Renee Engles said church trustees found large pieces of brick from the patio wall scattered throughout the parking lot and thrown over the other side of the wall.

Rev. Engles said this isn't the first time the church has dealt with trouble.

"It's a home. It's our church home," she said. "It's just a shame because this church really is a beacon for the community on the corner. We have opened our doors to so many organizations to meet here for free and we love doing that, that's part of our ministry."

Rev. Engles said sometimes neighborhood children climb onto the church garage roof.

Church members have even found people roaming inside the church at odd times throughout the day, forcing them to keep their doors locked with "no loitering" signs posted.

At the beginning of the month the wall was broken and it cost the church $800 to fix which was an expense the reverend said is unnecessary.

"We have increased patrols in the area," said Captain Edward Baker with the Town of West Seneca Police. "We have extra cars go by, its on a busy street. At this point between that and the investigation hopefully something can turn up so we can get to the bottom of it."

Rev. Engles said church members remain in good spirits and have even come up with a church slogan: "May peace be with you, just not a piece of our building."

Police are still investigating. If you have any information regarding the activity at the church you're asked to call the anonymous tip line at 675-8423.