A crook has wreaked major havoc on a church in Irving, Texas, after he viciously vandalized its sanctuary and stole thousands of dollars. The startling attack on Iglesia Santa Maria de Guadalupe, a Lutheran church, left windows broken and a church community shaken up last weekend.
The Rev. Pedro Portillo, the faith leader at the church, described the disturbing anti-religious elements of the crime, saying "The guy who [got] into the church, he did a lot of disgraceful things."
Among the most noteworthy damages, the vandal ripped up a Bible, broke an angel on the church's altar and threw communion bread on the floor.
The criminal stole a total of $10,000 from the church's safe and donation box. Considering the house of worship's need to pay rent and bills -- not to mention any charitable work that the money would have helped conduct -- this is a staggering loss.
But, for Portillo, it's not about the money.
"For us, in our faith, this is Jesus," Portillo said, as he held communion bread. "If he came to get the money, he could get the money. Money, we can make it...But what they did to the altar, to our faith -- that more hurt for the people."
Surveillance video of the crime shows the man walking around the church with a flashlight. It is this video that Portillo hopes will help bring the individual behind the destruction and thievery to justice.