LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Leaders at a Lakewood church are hoping surveillance videos can help track down a man who reportedly threw a rock through a window on July 5.
Video shows that man, wearing a red bandana, walking up to the United Methodist Church building just before 2 a.m. on Tuesday, then running away moments later.
Lisa Schneider said they received an alarm notification at the same time and arrived at the church to find a window shattered.
“He shut off his lights and walked very nonchalantly over to our building, threw the rock and then ran away quickly,” she said.
Two weeks ago, the church opened its parking lot through the Colorado Safe Parking Initiative, allowing a small number of unhoused community members to sleep in their cars overnight. They’re also well known for a community garden on the back of their property, where people in need can collect produce.
She said that since the start of June, they’ve had at least four incidents involving people attempting to break into the church or church vehicles.
“It’s just real disbelief at this point that it’s such a common occurrence, that we haven’t been able to get this to stop,” she said.
Repair costs impact Lakewood church’s community services
The church is asking Lakewood Police to step up patrols in the area, especially overnight.
She said the cost to replace windows and vehicles is preventing them from doing more good in the community.
“I think it means we’re feeding fewer people. We’re reaching fewer families. We’re not able to house as many people as we’d like to be able to do,” she said.
Across the nation, churches have been a target of vandalism following the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. Schneider doesn’t believe that’s the cause of their problems though, saying they began in February, long before that decision was announced.
They’re asking anyone who recognizes the man in the video to call Lakewood Police.