Calgary police are hoping to trace down the folks accountable for a string of vandalism incidents at church buildings throughout town in early July.
Eleven church buildings had been focused by vandals and splashed with purple and orange paint on Canada Day, in what officers imagine was a response to the invention of unmarked graves at former Indigenous residential colleges throughout the nation.
In a single case, police stated handprints and “215” — the variety of graves discovered at a residential college website in Kamloops — had been seen on the outside of the church, and a window had been damaged so the paint may very well be splashed inside.
Days later, on July 4, the arson unit was investigating a suspicious hearth at a church in Forest Heights. Investigators stated on the time it might have been linked to the opposite vandalism incidents.
Investigators have recognized suspects believed to be accountable for the vandalism at 5 of the 11 church buildings:
St. Bonaventure Catholic Church at 1600 Acadia Dr. was splashed with purple and orange paint at about 2:40 a.m. on July 1, by a lady.
CCTV video exhibits the girl carrying a black hooded sweater with the hood up, darkish pants and a darkish masks on the time of the incident.
Holy Trinity Church was focused about 1:45 a.m. on July 1, by a number of individuals who had been seen smearing orange-paint handprints on the skin of the constructing. Additionally they splashed paint on the sidewalks, police stated.
Police have launched photographs of one of many suspects, believed to be a lady, however shared no different figuring out particulars.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, Grace Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral had been all believed to have been focused by the identical suspects. Police stated not less than three folks vandalized these church buildings, however didn’t share suspect descriptions.
Whereas there have been no extra vandalism incidents, officers are nonetheless proactively patrolling round sure church buildings, which police stated would proceed “for the foreseeable future.”
The police service stated it’s “dedicated to working towards peaceable reconciliation with the Indigenous group,” whereas nonetheless performing its vital duties.
“We acknowledge the trauma, harm and anger being felt by many locally over the latest information of graves being discovered at former residential colleges,” the police stated.
“Whereas the overwhelming majority of individuals have been peacefully expressing their responses to those occasions, the unlawful vandalism and burning of church buildings throughout the nation is harmful and improper.”
Anybody with info on the suspects, or any of the vandalism incidents, is requested to contact police at 403-266-1234 or to contact Crime Stoppers.
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