A young couple has been arrested in western North Carolina for allegedly breaking into a small town Baptist church to scrawl Satanic messages on the inside, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
The two were caught in the act Tuesday by a sheriff’s deputy, the department said in a Wednesday Facebook post.
Among the messages proclaimed by the graffiti was “Satan Rules!!” accompanied by a caricature of the Devil, complete with horns. The markings also included variations of the name Satan and Lucifer, photos showed.
Suspects Gavin Martin Beaudet and Kamia Dae Reed were arrested at the church after a brief chase, said a release. Investigators did not say if the two are from the area or what motivated the incident.
“This type of activity will not be tolerated,” Sheriff Buddy Harwood said in a Facebook post.
Beaudet and Reed are alleged to have forced their way into Walnut Creek Baptist Church in Marshall, a mountain town of about 900 people 16 miles north of Asheville.
Deputies were responding to a breaking and entering when they found “two individuals inside the Church that were actively vandalizing and spray painting graffiti on the interior of the Church,” officials posted on Facebook.
“The individuals attempted to flee... Sheriff deputies were able to apprehend both,” the post said.
Beaudet and Reed are charged with “breaking and entering a place of worship, larceny after breaking and entering, resisting public officer and injury to real property,” officials said.
“Deputies also recovered stolen property from the Church on one of the individual’s person,” officials said.