SPANISH SPRINGS, NV - A church vandalized and a community left in shock. Tuesday, some Mormons in Spanish Springs were left asking why would someone deface a sacred place? It happened sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Mercedes Drive in Spanish Springs.
Much of it is cleaned up now, but on Tuesday morning it was a huge mess. White paint was on all sides of this building. The vandalism is upsetting enough, but the fact that it happened at a church is what really got people upset.
"It's heartbreaking... It really is to see to this scale what is going on.. and I hope that it does not happen again," said Stacie Hartze, a member of the church.
Hartze happened to be driving by her church this morning and she couldn't believe what she saw. Almost every surface of the building had been tagged with white paint overnight.
"I almost feel some of it sometimes can be hate crimes against the church," said Hartze.
The tags don't say anything specific about the mormon church, its beliefs, or its people but it's clear they were intended to offend.
"It makes me sick. Disappointed. Someone wanted attention," said Jake Skiver who does Graffiti abatement for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
In the 8 years he has done graffiti abatement, Skiver says he has never seen something like this done to a church.
The sheer number of tags makes it difficult to clean up. We counted 45 of them around the building. But the tags are also on brick and that is one of the hardest surfaces to clean.
An inmate crew got started by spraying the paint with chemicals. Then attacking it with a power washer.
"If this does not work, we are going to have to sandblast it," said Skiver
The paint will eventually be gone and the victims of this crime say they wont let it stop them, but churchgoers like Stacie Hartze are still left asking why?
"I am hoping it is just kids that are acting stupid. With the markings I hope they are able to find the individuals who keep doing it to the church," said Hartze
This actually is not the first time this church has been hit. Someone tagged it with a marker about a month ago.
Officials tell us to keep an eye open for taggers, we'll see more of them as the weather continues to warm up.