Suspect caught on camera stabbing tires at Raytown church, other businesses

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Raytown police are investigating an act of vandalism at a metro church.

Surveillance video caught a man stabbing holes in all four tires on a van that belongs to the First Assembly of God Church on 350 Highway.

Pastor Mark Halford can't imagine why the person in the video would do what he did.

"There was no attempt to get in the van, no attempt to steal anything," he said.

Raytown police said the person who vandalized the church van also popped a tire on a company truck at the AutoZone next door. According to investigators, the person destroyed tires on cars at Enterprise just up the road. Four cars and eight tires were popped in total.

"It's going to be a financial hardship because all of the tires need to be replaced," Halford said. "The punctures were in the sidewall, not in the treads."

Halford is just glad the suspect was caught on motion detection cameras. He installed them in the fall when someone stole the air conditioning units and damaged other parts of the property.

"We've had several thousand dollars worth of damage done to those," he said.

As another precaution, the church installed cages around the units to save them heartache and money.

"It's going to be a challenge, but we're going to survive this," Halford said. "It's certainly something that we regret happening."

From picking up members of the church who don't drive to taking kids to youth events, the van serves an important purpose. Even with the vandalism, Halford still has faith in his community.

"We know there are people like this in society," he said. "We don't feel like it's indicative of Raytown. We're glad to be here and good people are here. It's just a sad manifestation of an individual that's gone astray."

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