by Christy Wilcox
Damage is seen Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, after vandals struck St. Barbara Chaldean Catholic Church, 4514 Meadows Lane in Las Vegas. (Scott Kost/KSNV)
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Vandals burglarized and started several fires inside St. Barbara Chaldean Catholic Church near Meadows Mall late Friday night.
“We were shocked that night, and we couldn’t sleep,” Father Ray Sarkees said.
A neighboring business saw smoke and contacted Father Ray. The church was able to hold mass this past weekend, but the damage could take months to repair.
They have had problems with homeless in the past, but said the damage this time is much worse.
The burglar first tried to break the security gate but when the person could not gain access they gained entry through the mailbox on an exterior door.
Fires were set in a closet where there are tables and chairs, also in the gift shop, and near the altar area.
A safe was taken, along with cash from collection boxes and bottles of wine were smashed in a room near the altar. Sound equipment also was stolen.
Father Ray said their diocese in San Diego is helping them recover along with people who attend the church.
“I am very sure we will rebuild and be more strong. More than before,” Father Ray said.