BIG LAKE, Minn. - Three teens were charged Tuesday in an expensive act of burglary and vandalism that targeted a church in Big Lake.
Juvenile petitions were signed in Sherburne County Court today against two 15-year-olds from Big Lake and one 16-year-old from Monticello.
On August 1 Big Lake Police Officers were called to investigate a reported burglary at the Saron Lutheran Church, located at 311 Lake Street South. A person or persons had entered the church, stolen several items that were to be sold in a youth group fundraiser and then sprayed a fire extinguisher, causing extensive damage to areas of the church.
The entire church sanctuary and adjacent building were covered with the fire suppressant powder, which is a hazardous substance. Suspects also sprayed contents directly into an organ, piano, and several electronic components.
The items donated for the sale had to be disposed of, the estimated clean up cost for this incident is approximately $129,000.
Through a series of interviews an investigator from the Big Lake Police Department determined that the suspects entered the church through a door they found unsecured. Prosecutors maintain that the suspects removed three bicycles and several other items from the sale, and then sprayed the contents of three fire extinguishers through the church complex.
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