Police are searching for a man who is accused of breaking into a church in Ledyard and writing hateful words in the meeting hall on Saturday.
Officers were called to Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Route 12 in Gales Ferry for a report of a burglary around 7:30 a.m.
Dispatchers said entry was made into the church and damage was done to the building including broken windows and hateful writing within the meeting hall.
When police arrived, they said they found numerous broken windows around the meeting hall. It appeared the man threw bricks at the front door in an attempt to gain entry, but was unsuccessful.
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According to investigators, the man then walked around the building and broke more windows using rocks and bricks, along with other religious items that were around the outside of the building.
After that, authorities said the man entered through a window on the north side of the building. Camera footage from the church shows the man entering through the window around 1 a.m.
Officers said the man was seen on video walking throughout the meeting area and attempted to get into locked rooms using a crowbar. The man was also seen defacing the floor and wall in the meeting area a short time later, police added.
It is believed that the man was inside of the meeting area until approximately 3:30 a.m.
The man is described as being in his mid to late 20s with dark, thinning hair. He has what appears to be a beard with no mustache.
Authorities said the man appeared to be wearing jeans, dark work-style boots and a dark-colored winter jacket. He was carrying a light-colored military-style backpack.
While investigating the incident at Our Lady of Lourdes Church around 7:40 a.m., dispatchers said they received a call from Seabury Anglican Church located directly across Route 12 on Hurlbutt Road.
Officers said cleaning personnel found a broken window next to the main entrance of the church. It appears a rock was thrown through the window and landed inside of the worship area of the church. It is not believed that entry was made into the church.
Police believe the incidents are both connected to the same man.
The investigation is ongoing.
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