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Vandals paint swastika, smiley face in church

By Holly Hollman
DAILY Staff Writer

hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

CAPSHAW — A Capshaw Church of Christ member says disappointment probably led to vandals painting a smiley face and swastika on a classroom wall.

Alton Robinson said the vandals went through drawers and filing cabinets. The church doesn't leave money or valuables inside, Robinson said.

"They probably opened a closet, saw a can of spray paint and thought, 'I'll teach them to not leave me a little something for Christmas,' " Robinson said.

He said the vandals painted a smiley face with eyes, ears and a swastika design in the women's classroom. They also painted the clock and light switches.

"They actually have some talent," Robinson said. "I figure it was just kids being kids."

Sheriff Mike Blakely said a deputy who spotted an open basement window at the church disrupted the vandals.

Deputy Jonathan Yerdon saw the open window and a car parked nearby at 3:22 a.m. Friday.

The church is on Capshaw Road in eastern Limestone County.

Blakely said Yerdon saw a flashlight moving inside the church and called for backup. Yerdon watched the window where the car was parked, but the suspects ran out the front door where Yerdon couldn't see.

Inside, deputes found the classroom where the vandals used silver spray paint for their graffiti.

Authorities confiscated the car. Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said authorities arrested a 17-year-old male from Madison and 18-year-old Eion David Sparks of 110A Madison Haven Apartments, No. 2, in Madison. They are charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.

McNatt said authorities released the 17-year-old into his grandparents' custody. Sparks is in jail on $2,750 bond.

McNatt said nothing was missing from the church.

"Sparks said he doesn't know why they did it," McNatt said. "The juvenile said they were bored."

Robinson said this is the third time in the church's eight- to nine-year history that someone has broken into the building.

"We usually get more damage from them breaking in than them being inside," he said.

Once someone kicked in the door. Another time someone broke a window. This vandal popped the outside latch, he said.

Robinson spent three hours Friday painting over the graffiti.

"If we would have paid someone to do it, it probably would have cost us $300," he said.

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