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Two Hammond men charged with burglary in church vandalism case
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Two Hammond men charged with burglary in church vandalism case

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HAMMOND — Two Hammond men face felony charges after allegedly vandalizing the Faith United Church of Christ late Tuesday night, leaving behind significant damage to the Hammond church.

Aaron J. Vanoppens, 23, and Nicholas D. Reding, 22, have been charged with one count each of burglary and institutional criminal mischief, Hammond police spokesman Lt. Steven Kellogg said in a news release Saturday.

“We would like to thank the public for their continued support of both the police investigation and the Faith Church. The cooperative effort has once again proven the strength of our community,” Kellogg said.

Hammond police responded to the 3000 block of 175th Street for reported vandalism at the church around 7 a.m. Wednesday, finding significant damage to the interior of the facility. An altar, an organ, restrooms, a display case and an office were damaged.

Police believe the incident may have occurred late Tuesday night. 

Hammond police don't believe the vandalism was a hate crime, but rather a "very juvenile crime of opportunity." 

Check back at nwi.com for updates as they become available.

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.

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