Church trashed by vandals…

March 18, 2011 –

HOPKINTON, R.I. —

Vandals have caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to a Hopkinton church.

The destruction at the Babcock Presbyterian Church was discovered just after 5 a.m. on Thursday by police and firefighters responding to call from a passer-by who heard church alarms going off.

The vandals tipped over an organ and a new $8,000 piano, pushed over a baptismal font, sprayed fire extinguishers, destroyed furniture and threw sheet music and other papers all over the church. Wooden crosses and pictures were torn from walls.

Pastor Marilyn McNaughton called the mess an act of “extreme vandalism.” She said the culprits caused damage to every room in the church.

The 150-year-old congregation in the town’s Ashaway section has about 75 members.

Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the vandals.