Pennsylvania man caught on camera after destroying church statues, police say

Suspect alleged to have toppled church statues also linked to vandalism at nearby Downingtown West High Schoo.

A parish in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, was vandalized last week and police are seeking the public's help identifying the suspect. 

Four statues at St. Joseph Parish were toppled over, destroying two and damaging the others. 

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Vandalism at St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Vandalism at St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. (Downingtown Police Department)

"As you arrive for Mass today, you will see that the statues around the church were vandalized overnight. St. Anthony, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Lourdes and the Holy Family Statue all suffered damage," the parish's priest, the Rev. Stephen Leva, announced via Facebook on Sunday. "Police have already been on-site and we are confident in their investigation."

The suspect was also linked to vandalism at the nearby Downingtown West High School, local police said. Security lights and cameras were torn down, among other minor damage.

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One camera at the high school captured video of the suspect as he attempted to disable it.

One camera at the high school captured video of the suspect as he attempted to disable it. (Downingtown Police Department)

One camera at the high school captured video of the suspect as he attempted to disable it, including a close-up view of his face.

The church asked parishioners to pray for the person responsible and to thank God for their opportunity to show forgiveness.

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A suspect in the vandalism of St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, captured on video at a nearby high school.

A suspect in the vandalism of St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, captured on video at a nearby high school. (Downington Police Department)

"Please keep the persons responsible for this vandalism in your prayers. We ask that God touch their hearts. For ourselves, we take a moment to thank God for the opportunity to practice forgiveness. His mercy is unending and as Christians, we are called to forgive as He forgives."

Leva also expressed gratitude for the lack of damage to the Nativity scene outside the church ahead of the Christmas holiday.