A Person County man has been charged in the vandalism reported last week at two Orange County churches, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release Tuesday.
Brayden Tyler Swain of Person County is facing a felony count of breaking or entering a place of worship, felony safe cracking, and two misdemeanor counts each of damage to real property and damage to personal property, court records show.
He is being held in the Orange County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond and is scheduled to make his first appearance Tuesday afternoon in Orange County District Court.
The charges stem from vandalism reported Oct. 6 at Little River Presbyterian Church and New Bethel United Methodist Church. The churches, about four miles apart in the Caldwell community, were broken into sometime after 9:30 p.m.
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Swain is accused of breaking numerous panes of glass and damaging the doors. The cost to replace and repair the damage was estimated at more than $20,000, the Sheriff’s Office reported. Nothing appears to have been stolen, officials said.
The Little River church, a “small community congregation” of about 120 members, many of them local farming families, was broken into about two years ago, the Rev. Chuck Link said. They stopped keeping laptop computers in the building, he said.
Deputies are continuing to investigate the crimes. Anyone with information should contact Investigator Jason Nazworth at 919-245-2925, Investigator Keith Goodwin at 919-245-2918, or call in the Investigative Division at 919-245-2900. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.