Sunday, November 18, 2007

Vandal Arsonist targets Calgary Church

CANOE -- CNEWS - Crime: Firebug targets Calgary church
Police said the First Evangelical Free Church has been targeted several times during the last three weeks.

The suspect or suspects spray-painted disturbing messages on the church and twice tried to start a fire near the exterior of the building at 732 55 Ave. S.W.

Pastor Barry McAuley said the graffiti has been cleaned up, but the fear remains, with suspect(s) still at large.

"I don't even want to repeat it," he said yesterday of the scrawlings.

"Some was demonic, some was sexual -- it was pretty graphic and disturbing."

At about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 31, a blaze was set after gasoline was ignited at the front doors of the church.

"It could have been very serious if it got through the doors," McAuley said.
Det. Guy Baker said cops believe the church is being targeted.

"There's been three attacks against the church ... I don't know why," Baker said.

"We are taking this very seriously."

McAuley said he takes comfort that there have been no additional incidents, but wants someone held accountable.

"The person may have decided they're not doing it any more but until it's solved, it still lingers in everyone's mind -- and we are just kind of praying for whoever did it."

The suspect is said to be a scruffy-looking Caucasian man about 40 years of age.

Anyone with information can contact Det. Baker at 567-6600 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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