One woman went on a spree of vandalism when she broke into a California church. For forty minutes, surveillance cameras captured 23-year-old Jackeline Chavira devastating the religious sanctuary. She not only destroyed whatever she could – including the toppling of a 15-foot crucifix – Chavira also burglarized the church, taking some valuables with her. Besides the massive crucifix that she knocked over, Chavira also broke two other religious statues and stole roses and a soda.
After an assessment was conducted, Chavira caused $15,000 worth of damage, the Watsonville Police Department reported. Because Chavira was caught on camera causing the destruction, there was no question that she was the one who did it. That’s the reason police were able to quickly apprehend her and charge her with the vandalism and burglary of the church in the Northern California town of Watsonville.
The crime spree did not only affect the church. First, Chavira broke into a store where she stole roses. Then she went to a shop where she stole and later destroyed a religious statue. After that, she entered a bakery where she stole a soda, before breaking and entering the St. Patrick’s Church where the most destruction was caused.
As soon as Chavira entered the church, she walked straight toward the altar. Surveillance footage shows her to be a woman on a mission as she approaches the crucifix and then topples it over with all her might. The massive structure comes crashing down to the ground. When the crucifix had been knocked over, the statue attached to it fell to the floor, causing more destruction.
Chavira then runs down the aisle of the church with the stolen roses in her hand. From there she entered the more intimate quarters of the church. She broke into the prayer room where she threw another religious statue to the ground, breaking it. She ripped down two large paintings, all while two churchgoers remained deep in prayer in the room.
After causing her mayhem in the church, Chavira made it clear she was not done yet. She entered the gift shop of the church where she stole another statue. The store owner tried to stop her but could not. She grabbed the statue and threw it to the floor, breaking it.
That proved to be her final act of destruction. Police caught up with her shortly afterward and arrested her. She is now held on $25,000 bail at Santa Cruz County jail. She has been charged with defacing property, disobeying a court order, burglary, and vandalizing a place of worship.
The police clarified that she caused $15,000 worth of damages as the church alone where the destruction was “the most extensive.”
It is unclear why the young woman would cause so much destruction by herself. It is also unclear why she targeted the St. Patrick’s Church in particular. Police are investigating the crime and looking to see if Chavira has any connection to the church or the clergy as they search for her motivation to commit such untold destruction.
What do you think of the footage?
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