Tribune-Courier General Manager
HARDIN – Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars believes the burglary and vandalism of the Old Hardin Baptist Church on New Year’s Day is the work of three young males reported hanging out in the area a few hours before the incident occurred.
Deputies were contacted by a Hardin resident who noticed Satanic symbols and vulgar graffiti painted on buildings owned by Hardin Baptist Church, now being used as a school, community clothing closet and youth center. The church’s annex is located on College Street.
Byars said the vandals entered the building through doors that weren’t securely locked. Once inside, they found the spray paint used on the outside of the church property.
Several guitars stored inside the building were stolen, but later found outside on the ground, said Byars.
A Hardin resident reported seeing the unidentified young males, believed to be middle-school aged, near the property earlier on New Year’s Day.
“Vandalism of church property is technically a hate crime,” said Byars. “We don’t believe that’s what this is though.”
Sheriff’s deputies have increased patrols in the area and are asking anyone with information on who is responsible for the burglary and vandalism to contact them at 270-527-3112.