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Charges filed against juvenile in connection with McHenry church vandalism

Published: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 2:37 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 11:59 p.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
A 17-year-old male was charged by McHenry police with two property crimes that occurred at the St. Patrick's Catholic Church in McHenry but not with the statue beheading from earlier this week.

McHENRY – A 17-year-old McHenry boy was charged by McHenry police with two property crimes that occurred at St. Patrick Catholic Church in McHenry, but not with the statue beheading from earlier this week.

According to a news release, the charges were filed as the result of the ongoing investigations of three separate incidents that occurred at the church, 3500 Washington St., between June 2013 and this week.

The male is charged as a juvenile for a June 2013 incident and a July 2013 incident with one count of criminal damage over to a place of worship, a Class 3 felony, and one count of theft over from a place of worship, a Class 2 felony.

He also is charged with one count of burglary to a place of worship, a Class 1 felony, for the July 2013 incident.

He remains a person of interest in the third act of vandalism that occurred this week when the statue of St. Patrick, a 6-foot-tall structure made of a bronze and metal mixture, was torn down, causing it to break in multiple places, Deputy Police Chief John Birk said.

The church had surveillance video of the incident, but police were unable to tell whether the person in the video was the 17-year-old arrested, he said. The boy has no connection to the church that Birk was aware of, but he was known to them through past police contact.

A light post and two air conditioning units were damaged in June. The statue of St. Patrick also was broken in several places, including its fingers, which were found on the church roof.

About a month later, the cross was ripped off the roof of the chapel and a locked box containing money designated for charity was broken into and stolen. Light posts, air conditioning units, a picture and a window also were damaged.

Repairs cost about $3,000 for the June incident and $5,000 for the July incident, Birk said.

The teen will be detained at the Kane County Juvenile Detention Facility until his juvenile court appearance on Tuesday.

McHenry police are asking anyone who has knowledge of these incidents to call the criminal investigation division at 815-363-2599 or the anonymous tip line at 815-363-2124.

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