SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Scranton Police Department needs your help in several different crimes in the city. One of them is vandalism happening to a former church and the owner is fed up.
That owner is Bob Bolus. Over the past several months, he tells Eyewitness News people have been damaging the church. On Wednesday and Thursday vandals struck again and Bolus is saying enough is enough.
“As far as I’m concerned, these are scumbags that shouldn’t even be here that do this,” Bolus said.
Several chunks of pavement lay on the floor of the former Holy Cross Church on Sixth Street. Evidence Bolus came across Thursday evening.
“It was very extensive. They got into the building. As you can see paint cans tipped over,” Bolus said.
The burglar and vandal ransacked the place Thursday afternoon. Lightbulbs smashed, historical pictures stolen and even some bullet holes in windows. A person even broke into the utility room and removed copper from the hot water tank, leaving the room to flood.
“Just vandalism with no purpose,” Bolus said.
Bolus says he had a purpose when he purchased the property nearly a decade ago. Crews have been working on turning the church into a community center.
“Get the kids off the street and bring back our culture and start eliminating what we see on the streets,” Bolus said.
“It’s going to be a lot of work but he can definitely get it done I think. It’s a really nice building,” Vince Kasa, owner of Kasa Lawn Care, LLC said.
Bolus brought in landscapers to clean up the property to help deter crime happening at the former church.
“First I was just supposed to trim everything. Now he wants everything clear cut because of the vandalism and so he wants everything completely gone,” Kasa said.
“There won’t be a twig to hide behind and if we catch you, trust me, you’re going to pay the damn price,” Bolus said.
More than a dozen windows will have to be replaced, water in the utility room will have to be pumped. The more than 100-year-old floor will have to be sanded to remove the paint.
Bolus tells Eyewitness News he plans to install security cameras on the outside of the church soon.