News

Vandals target church again

By Southern Riverina News

Vandals smashed their way into the Finley Anglican Church on Thursday and ransacked the church hall.

Reverend Stephen Davis said given nothing was stolen, he believes the vandals were just ‘‘making a nuisance of themselves’’.

A few days later, on Sunday evening, the Finley Recreation Reserve, Finley Public School and Finley High School were all targets of more vandalism attacks.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage taken Sunday night, which they say shows three young people in the vicinity of at least one of the targeted locations.

At the church, the hall door is believed to have been smashed to gain entry about 5am on Thursday.

Rev Davis said it was a disappointing way to end the festive season, particularly as the cost of repairing the damage will have to be taken from the church’s other activities.

It’s actually the second attack on the church, with vandals spray painting ‘Your God is Dead’ on the church notice board in August last year.

‘‘I’ve spoken with a few of the other churches and it looks like we were the only ones targeted, so it was random and probably because we are a soft target,’’ Rev Davis said.

‘‘The people have rifled through just a few cupboards and that was about it.

‘‘We keep nothing of value in the hall and nothing seems to be taken.

‘‘This (attack) doesn’t seem as malicious as the graffiti, when they were sending a direct message.

‘‘But yes, it’s frustrating to deal with because of the cost to replace the window.

‘‘However I’m not going to be angry about it, because I would then be being malicious towards them.’’

Rev Davis has put other would-be vandals and thieves on notice, telling them there’s no point breaking into the church.

‘‘I can show them around the place, because there’s nothing in the hall.

‘‘They can take some glasses we never use because it would save me having to throw them out or take them to the op shop.

‘‘They can even give the hall a nice clean,’’ he joked.

At Finley Public School, between midday and 9pm on Sunday, vandals gained entry to a demountable classroom by smashing its windows.

Inside the classroom, paint was thrown around the room and papers torn up and strewn everywhere.

Windows to a permanent classroom were smashed.

Inside, vandals gained access to the storeroom and used the paint and other craft items inside to damage other parts of the school.

Vandals targeted the Finley Apex Community & Sporting Complex at the Finley Recreation Reserve about 8.40pm Sunday. After smashing windows they got inside the complex and stole a number of chocolates.

Windows were also found smashed at Finley High School on Monday.

Anyone with information about the break-ins and vandalism is asked to contact Finley Police on 58831044 or CrimeStoppers on 1300 333 000.