HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Police say two children, ages 9 and 10, vandalized a Hutchinson church Thursday evening. The damage is estimated at $30,000.
“It is going to take a major effort but it is going to have to be a professional one,” says Pastor Matt Stafford.
Fire crews responded to an alarm shortly after 5:00 at the First Congregational Church, 3410 N. Plum St. They found a fire as well as additional damage.
Police say the two children got into the church through an unlocked door. Investigators say the children set some paper on fire then discharged fire extinguishers in classrooms, hallways, offices, the small chapel and the kitchen.
“It is everywhere,” says Stafford. ” It is permeated everywhere.”
They also accuse the children of urinating on floors, throwing pop cans around until the cans burst, and stealing some items.
Stafford adds, “Why would anybody think that this is something that should be done?”
“We do not hate them. We love them. We just hate what they did,” he says.
A police officer who was responding to a report of two missing juveniles found the children around 7 p.m.
Police say they compared the children’s shoe prints with those found in the church, questioned the children and the kids admitted to the crimes.
The 10-year-old faces possible charges of arson, criminal damage to property, burglary and theft.
Police say a child-in-need-of-care case was filed for the 9-year-old.