MONMOUTH BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Monmouth County, New Jersey church has been vandalized three times in recent weeks.
Investigators say the suspects broke a window, damaged a statue, and wrote messages on the property.
The Church of the Precious Blood is a focal point in the small town of Monmouth Beach, located at the end of Beach Road on Riverdale Avenue.
“It’s something you would never think would happen here,” resident Mike Alcini said.
Recently, the place of worship has become a target of vandalism.
“The community is shocked by it,” resident Lauren Schlogl said. “It’s a very, very involved parish. It’s shocking someone would have that anger to vandalize a church like that.”
Police say someone deliberately broke a window and left fecal matter on an outside stairway.
Most recently, someone used a marker to write “God is Fake” on the steps in broad daylight the weekend before Halloween.
Schlogl, a mother of three, lives just down the street.
“It’s so upsetting knowing that’s going on right next door and not only that it’s a Catholic Church, that someone has that kind of hatred is upsetting,” she told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
“In light of recent church shootings, it’s so unsettling,” he said.
Police say they’re reviewing security footage in the area as the investigation continues.