2 Teens Arrested For Union Co. Church Vandalism - WSPA.com

2 Teens Arrested For Union Co. Church Vandalism

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Two teenage boys have been arrested and charged Wednesday with vandalism at a church in Union County. Two teenage boys have been arrested and charged Wednesday with vandalism at a church in Union County.
Union County, SC -

Two Juveniles Arrested, Charged With Vandalism At Church In Union County - August 7, 2013

Two teenage boys have been arrested and charged Wednesday with vandalism at a church in Union County.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor says the juveniles - ages 15 and 16 - say there was no specific reason they targeted Buffalo Methodist Church.

The names of the teenagers weren't released, but they are both charged with malicious injury to a place of worship, burglary second degree and petit larceny.

The suspects will be processed and transported to DJJ in Columbia Wednesday.

Juveniles To Be Charged In Connection To Church Vandalism - August 6, 2013

Union County Sheriff's deputies say they will formally charge two juveniles in connection with last week's church vandalism.

The Buffalo United Methodist Church discovered hate symbols sprayed on the walls and bibles torn up.

Sheriff David Taylor tells 7 On Your Side that investigators are filling out the warrants Tuesday night and expect the juveniles to surrender themselves Wednesday morning.

The exact charges have not yet been released.

Taylor said the two young people will be transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

The Sheriff is not releasing their names because of their ages.

Union Co. Church Vandalized - July 30, 2013

Union County Sheriff David Taylor says the Buffalo United Methodist Church at 108 Hill Street in Buffalo was vandalized.

Taylor says German swastikas, graffiti and satanic symbols were spray-painted throughout the church.

Bibles inside the church were also ripped apart.

State agents also came to process the scene with advanced forensic equipment.

The pastor discovered the vandalism Tuesday morning.

"It's hard to look at but it's the world we live in, a world that could use some more work from its churches," pastor Rob Towery said.

The Sheriff has ruled out a connection to last week's double murders, in which the two people charged were linked to hate groups.

"People aren't going to tolerate this kind of stuff going on and when we bring these people to court, justice is going to be served," Taylor said.

Bible school at Buffalo United Methodist Church is continuing at a nearby church which offered to help.

Investigating Connection To Other Crime - July 30, 2013

The Sheriff has ruled out a connection to last week's double murders, in which the two people charged were linked to hate groups.

Just last week, two people investigators have linked with a hate group were charged in a double murder a few miles away.

Deputies say, the couple had online affiliations that suggest strong ties to a growing neo-nazi gang.

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate and extremism across the country.

"It's fairly unusual, although not unheard of, to have real neo-nazis or radical right-wing groups putting up satanic symbols alongside things like swastikas," Potok explained

Experts say, it's the mix of symbols and messages inside the church in this latest incident that makes it unlikely a group is behind it.

"My best guess is that these are some teenagers, you know, trying to make a splash in the local paper," Potok said.

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