On the early morning of June 18th, law enforcement officers were sent to Ray Avenue Baptist Church, located at 2801 Ray Ave in south Salina, following a report from a concerned resident. At approximately 3:57 am, the resident allegedly observed individuals walking along the nearby railroad tracks, arousing suspicion. Officers arrived at the scene to investigate.
Upon conducting a search of the area, law enforcement allegedly discovered multiple vehicles with shattered windows. At the church premises, three vehicles had sustained damage, including a 2005 Blue Bird short bus with 27 broken windows, an F-450 bus with nine broken windows and a broken driver's side mirror, and a 2008 Chevy van with both rear windows shattered. Preliminary estimates by the pastor indicate that the total cost of the damage amounts to $5,500.
Expanding their search, officers continued to survey the vicinity and allegedly uncovered additional incidents of vandalism. In the 2600 block of Ray Avenue, a 2008 Nissan Altima was found with its driver's side window and rear window broken. Meanwhile, in the 2600 block of Key Street, a mailbox sustained significant damage from repeated strikes. Similarly, a mailbox in the 400 block of Gail Street was also damaged. Additionally, in the 400 block of Irene Street, a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee had its rear window shattered.
Following these events, the local authorities received reports of possible further cases of damage. However, specific details regarding these incidents are still emerging, and the full extent of the possible damage is yet to be determined.
Law enforcement officials are actively investigating these acts of vandalism and are asking the public for any information that could assist in identifying the individuals.
Pastor John Day of Ray Avenue Baptist Church has told Salina311 that despite the vandalism of the church's transportation vehicles, the church has received ample support from people determined to ensure that the children can attend their eagerly anticipated annual camp next week. More than 50 enthusiastic youngsters from the Salina-based church are expected to embark on a week-long adventure at a church camp located in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Pastor Day expressed his deep gratitude for the assistance in allowing the church to transport the children. This year marks the 14th consecutive year that the church has organized the camp.