Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ripon was vandalized allegedly by three young teenagers early Monday morning.

   At around 5:50 a.m., police were notified of a possible break-in and vandalism at the church.

   The Rev. Clay Salmela explained the church custodian went in early that morning and discovered the vandalism.

   “It appears that those involved gained access through a window that had been left open a crack for ventilation in our preschool, and they were able to get that open further,” Salmela said.

   When law enforcement investigated the scene, they discovered about $1,000 of damages.

   “Someone called from the church saying it looked like someone had broken in,” Capt. Troy Damsteegt said. “Looks like rooms have been toilet-papered, a couple of things were smashed, a drinking fountain ripped off the wall, a fire extinguisher set off and writings on dry-erase boards.”

   Salmela noted the smashed items included a planter and computer.

   After further investigation, law enforcement were able to identify the vandals.

Read the full story in the Aug. 15, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.