Tombstones vandalized at Berkeley County historic church

Published: Jul. 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - An historic church in Berkeley County with a history of vandalism has been targeted again.

Berkeley County deputies say Strawberry Episcopal Chapel was broken into sometime last week.

Dr. Robert Ball's family is one of the founders of the church.

Ball has ancestors who are buried there.

"We were angry, disheartened and mystified as to why hooligans would destroy church property," Dr. Ball said. "This is some of the worst we've seen in recent memory."

The destruction included overturned and broken tombstones.

Authorities believe the vandals got in through a window. Church members say the suspects apparently tied a chain to the window bars, yanked them off and broke the glass.

We are told the inside of the church was trashed.

"Smashed the entire glass windows, hand blown glass and original wood," Ball said. "Obviously these are just young vandals who don't care about church property or anything else for that matter."

What bothers Dr. Ball most is it's not the first time it's happened.

He says lots of the damage here has been done over a ten year period.

"We estimate over the last decade or so we've had probably $100,000 worth of damage. Word needs to get out that this is absolutely unacceptable and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Dr. Ball says the church is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone who can help should call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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