Maple Grove police seek suspect in multiple acts of church vandalism


Police are looking to identify a suspect captured on surveillance video vandalizing a Maple Grove church Sunday, a man that authorities believe is tied to similar incidents last month.

ECM Publishers reports officers were called to Pilgrims United Church of Christ Sunday morning for a report of eggs smashed on the front door and a message referencing anti-gay sentiments written on the building's siding.

The church has been vocal about supporting same-sex marriage and was also targeted on June 2 and June 30. Maple Grove Police believe the same suspect is involved in all three incidents, ECM reports.

The church has been hit with graffiti in the past and "Vote No" signs--part of the push to defeat the proposed marriage amendment--were stolen from the lawn last year.

FOX 9 says the Pilgrim United vandalism coincided with marriage equality milestones in the state. Police are stepping up enforcement in preparation for more potential damage on Thursday, the first day same-sex couples can legally marry, according to WCCO.

The suspect is described as a white man with dark hair, glasses and uses a hand-powered wheelchair. Police say they don't believe the suspect is associated with the church.

ECM posted a copy of the surveillance video.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Laurel Slawson at 763-494-6189.

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