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Pastor Says Someone Vandalized Stockton Church, Causing Thousands of Dollars in Damage

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STOCKTON -- An unidentified man vandalized a Stockton-area church, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, according to church officials.

Pastor Ryan Eikenbary of the Zion Lutheran Church said the vandalism happened on Friday night and it wasn't the first time.

"We try very much at our church here to serve Stockton and to the community around us and it's just very disheartening when those sorts of things happen," Eikenbary said.

Church surveillance video shows a man walking around the property carrying an object. The pastor said the vandal pulled off rain gutters, smashed electrical boxes, broke a window and pulled up sprinkler lines, wrapping them around trees.

"It doesn't look like it was someone who was homeless or something. It looked like somebody who was just doing destructive things and I just really hope they understand the impact that it has on us and our community," Eikenbary told FOX40.

Eikenbary said the church has been vandalized in the past but this was the worst of it.

"There's certainly the financial aspect but I think more than anything, it's very demoralizing," he said. "To come and be prepared to conduct the worship that we want to do here on Sundays and throughout the week and to show up and have, you know, to see that our property and our sanctuary sometimes has been vandalized is very disheartening."

Despite the disappointment, the church came together to fix what they could.

"We had a number of members from the congregation that showed up all throughout the day on Saturday and took care of various components of it," Eikenbary said. "You know, cleaning up the glass, making sure that things were put back in order so that we could have services today."

The vandal may have cost the church money but Eikenbary said they'll always keep their faith.

"We actually worshiped with another one of the congregations that's close to us and we had a great time together. It didn't impede that," he told FOX40.

The church has asked anyone with information to reach out to the Stockton Police Department.

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