3 Kids Charged in Big Lake Church Vandalism
The bicycles were to be sold, to raise money to benefit young people. The piano and organ fill the sanctuary with music, bringing joy and comfort to the faithful. Now the bicycles are gone, the instruments are damaged, and three teenagers face burglary and property damage charges.
Big Lake Police officers were called to Saron Lutheran Church August 1 to investigate a report of a burglary. Three bicycles and other items donated for a sale to fund a youth program were missing. Three of the church's fire extinguishers had been used.
"The entire church sanctuary and adjacent building were covered with the fire suppressant powder, which is a hazardous substance," said Police Chief Joel Scharf. "Suspects also sprayed contents directly into an organ, piano, and several electronic components."
Two 15-year-olds from Big Lake and one 16-year-old from Monticello have been charged as juveniles for burglary and damage to property. Scharf said the cost to clean up the mess is estimated at $129,000. The items donated for the benefit had to be thrown out.
People from the community have donated four thousand dollars to help the church.