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B.C. church with Pride display targeted yet again by 'hate-driven' vandalism, police say

Surveillance video shows a window being shattered at a Delta, B.C., church that has been repeatedly targeted by vandals, on Sept. 22, 2023. (Handout) Surveillance video shows a window being shattered at a Delta, B.C., church that has been repeatedly targeted by vandals, on Sept. 22, 2023. (Handout)
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A church in B.C.'s Lower Mainland that has faced repeated vandalism over its prominently displayed Pride flags was recently targeted yet again – but police are hopeful surveillance video could help them finally nab a suspect.

Authorities said the latest incident happened overnight on Sept. 22, when a masked man dressed head-to-toe in dark clothing approached the Ladner United Church in Delta on a bicycle.

CCTV video shared by the Delta Police Department on Friday shows the man shattering two windows where Pride flags were on display.

The incident marks the sixth act of vandalism against the church, each apparently a reaction to its various Pride displays.

Acting Insp. James Sandberg said authorities are doing everything in their power to bring an end to what he described as "hate-driven" destruction.

"The community is disturbed, the community is frustrated," Sandberg told CTV News. "As the police agency for this jurisdiction, we are frustrated. It's not acceptable."

Authorities acknowledged the suspect would be difficult to directly identify from the video because of his clothing, mask and hat, but highlighted several features of his bicycle that members of the public might recognize.

"What we see is a bike that had mudguards, or fenders, on it. We see light-coloured brake lines. We see light-coloured shocks or shock covers," Sandberg said.

"Those are some unique features that will hopefully help us – or help the public help us – in narrowing down the identity of this person."

It's unclear whether the same suspect might have been involved in any prior incidents at Ladner United Church, authorities said.

The last act of vandalism was recorded in June, when someone splattered black paint on a window where a Pride flag was hanging. Supporters responded by installing a lawn display on the property that read, "Love wins."

Flags that were flying outside the church were previously damaged or vandalized with black paint on four incidents dating back to 2019.

Authorities urged anyone with information on the vandalism to contact the Delta Police Department by calling 604-946-4411. Those who want to remain anonymous can instead call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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