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Vandals hit cars during Bible study

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Church leader says guards, security camera up next at Salt River Baptist

By BEN CARLSON

While the faithful sat inside Salt River Independent Baptist Church studying their Bibles, folks of a different sort seized the opportunity to deface their vehicles and steal their belongings.
Police are investigating vandalism and theft that occurred early Sunday evening at the small rural church, located on Salt River Road about a half-mile off Harrodsburg Road in Stringtown.
Vandals stole gas from one vehicle and left scratch marks on a number of others, including that of Jean Bush, whose husband Carl leads worship services at the church.
“We’ve never had trouble before,” said Bro. Carl Bush, who helped resurrect services several years ago at one of the oldest worship facilities in Anderson County.
“Now, it looks like we’ll have to post a guard outside to have church services, or at least have a security camera.”
Bush said Monday that he was still trying to determine exactly how many vehicles were damaged. He said he and his wife weren’t aware of what occurred until after they arrived home that evening.
Bush said church member Becky Hawkins came to their house to pick up materials for a children’s program and told them what had happened.
“That’s when we first learned about it,” Bush said. “They siphoned gas out of Becky’s car, stole the steering wheel cover and tried to remove the seat cover. They also went through her glove compartment, looking for things to steal.”
Bush said it appears the vandals were trying to steal gas.
“My wife has a Nissan, and you have to open the gas tank from inside,” he said. “Since they couldn’t open her gas tank, it looks like they got mad and scratched the side of her car.”
Bush said another church member, Johnny Metcalf, also had damage to his vehicle.
“They scratched the hood of his truck up real bad,” he said.
Bush said he is saddened to think that someone would do such a thing, adding that if they needed assistance, all they had to do was ask.
“We’re a local mission church,” Bush said. “We help a lot of people in need. If they needed gas, we would have gladly helped them if it was a legitimate cause.
“It’s just sad that anyone would treat the church this way.”
Bush said there were approximately 30 people participating in the Bible study and about a dozen cars in the parking lot. He said the shades were drawn on the windows so those inside couldn’t have noticed what was going on in the parking lot.
“I’m still surprised they would be that bold,” he said.
The Lawrenceburg Police Department is investigating, and Sheriff Troy Young said his deputies, upon request, will provide additional patrols during service hours at the church.
Bush said it’s a shame that churches have to be on guard against vandalism and break-ins.
“Churches never used to have to lock their doors,” he said. “We do now.
“I just mentioned in a service not long ago about how Christians are persecuted around the world,” he added. “It’s not too bad in our country so far, but in a lot of countries they have to sneak around to have church.
“We’re not that way, yet.”