NESQUEHONING, Pa. -- A church in Carbon County has been the target of vandalism, and authorities are looking for the persons responsible.
Police in Nesquehoning say the problem at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church started with trespassing, but lately, the crimes have become more serious.
St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church stands tall in downtown Nesquehoning. Recently, the house of worship has been the center of a criminal investigation.
Police say several acts of vandalism have occurred over the past month.
"It's disgusting," said Richard Ellis. "No one has any respect anymore. This is a good town, and there are a lot of great people in this town."
Authorities say "no trespassing" signs have been ripped from the church and thrown onto the front porch next door.
The police chief took a photo of an anti-Christian sign that someone posted on a utility pole near the church.
"We're having several incidents of vandalism, but what's happening is that it's progressing. It's progressively getting worse," said Nesquehoning Police Chief Sean Smith.
In addition to the vandalism and the trespassing, authorities say drug paraphernalia and a knife were also found at the top of the stairs.
Police photos show heroin packets tucked near a shovel and a scooter, and a knife left out in plain sight.
"A lot of people are very upset about it, so we are taking it very seriously and we are following up and doing everything we can right now," said the chief.
Jim Kravelk lives right behind the church and says things have definitely changed in his neighborhood. He hopes whoever is responsible gets stopped soon.
"That's a shame to do that to a church," Kravelk said. "They deserve to get caught and pay the penalty, you know? That's what I say."
If you have information that could help with this investigation, contact Nesquehoning Police.