Police say early Thursday morning, someone vandalized and tried to break into the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, marking the the third time this year that the church has been attacked.
"A little bit of remorse that somebody would again try to break into this house of God," Pastor Robert Babcox says he felt when police called him early Thursday morning.
The Grand Junction Police Department says just before 2 a.m., officers rushed to the church off of B 1/2 Road after receiving reports that the alarm system was going off there. When they arrived, all they found was a side door window shattered and glass on the ground, leading them to believe the alarm scared off the vandals.
"It does make me happy that the alarm is working," said Babcox. "The system we purchased seemed to be doing its job."
And although it's meant cleaning up and replacing a $500 window Pastor Babcox says he was much happier to receive this call than the last one.
"Considering the final estimate of sixty-five thousand dollars that was done the last time people broke in here, this is pretty cheap," said Babcox.
In May, police arrested two teens who they say broke into the church, lit a pew on fire, painted the floors, and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to other things -- prompting Pastor Babcox to spend $2,000 on a new security system.
"Windows and doors are now all secured and there's motion sensors throughout the church," said Babcox.
Considering this most recent attack, and another that happened before the May incident, Pastor Babcox says the church is ready to step up its security again.
"We're adding security cameras too to help the police in their efforts," said Babcox.
In spite of all the money he's had to spend to repair and protect the church, Pastor Babcox says he's not angry at the people who are doing this.
"What we're after is for these people to get the help that they need," said Babcox.
He just hopes this is the last time police will be calling him in the middle of the night.
"That's my prayer everyday," said Babcox. "That no other church, let alone my church, would have to go through this again.
Police say they have no suspect leads at this time. If you have information about this crime, they are asking you to call the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 241-STOP.
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