AP NEWS

2 accused of vandalizing church organ, trying to steal pipes

January 29, 2020 GMT

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — Two men have been charged with vandalizing an organ at a New Jersey church and attempting to steal its pipes.

Freehold police say Junior B. Romero and Darwin Romero, both 35, are charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and unlawful entry of a structure. The two men, both Freehold residents, are not related, authorities said.

It wasn’t known Wednesday if either man has retained an attorney.

Authorities said a third suspect is also being sought in connection with the incident at the First United Methodist Church of Freehold, which apparently happened on Jan. 21 or 22. Church officials have said the pipes were ripped out and piled in front of the decades-old instrument, which was dedicated in 1967.

Pastor Wil Wilson wrote on Facebook that the damage, which was estimated at between $15,000 to $20,000, was “shocking and disturbing.” He also wrote that he was thankful no one was injured and nothing was stolen and that he was praying for those responsible.