Greenville church increasing security after vandalism -

Greenville church increasing security after vandalism

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - A Greenville church is increasing security after a rash of vandalism.
It's happening at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church.

“I don't feel safe here at night anymore,” said Father Michael Butler, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church. “I really don't.” In 30 years as a priest, Butler says he's never seen vandalism at his church like this.
Stolen maintenance tools, broken confessional chairs, and smashed televisions.

"It's a little nerve wrecking to realized someone has come in here and done this, for no reason,” said Butler. “Just out of pure meanness."
Father Butler says the vandalism began in October.  Butler says that's when someone broke all the motion detectors in their new Life Center building and then took the cover off  one of the building's air conditioning units. Last month, someone smashed a  brand-new HD flat screen television in one of the church classrooms.

"I don't know why it is they target a church,” said Butler. “We're not a wealthy parish, we don't have a whole lot of money."
As a result of the vandalism the church  is taking extra security precautions.
On May 1st, the church changed all the passcodes to the buildings and is restricting those codes to authorized personnel only.
"I have asked the sisters not to be here alone,” said Butler. “I've told people to make sure they take their kids to the bathroom, so they’re not in their alone.”  
Father Butler says the vandals aren't just damaging the church, they are taking away its ability to help others in need.
"Now we're thinking we have to hire an off duty policeman to be up at the center when their having a party," said Butler.

If you have any information on who is vandalizing the church or you see suspicious activity, contact church personnel.

If you would like to help St. Gabriel's Catholic Church replace some of  the damaged items, contact the church at (252) 758-1504.

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