SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- The former Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church in Shamokin was burglarized and vandalized just weeks before it's set to go up for auction.
Church members say someone broke in, defecated in the kitchen, and threw an American flag on the floor.
The flag lies crumbled up on the floor at Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church in Shamokin. Over the weekend, police say at least two people burglarized and vandalized the former church.
"That really tore me up because you do not throw the American flag on the floor," said church member Sandy Thomas.
The church on Arch Street has been closed for about four years. According to investigators, at least two people broke into the church and stole a cross, brass collection plates, and copper pipes.
Thomas says another church member saw one of the crooks as he left the building.
"He went out the back door and she ran after him, a 74-year-old woman running after this younger guy. She said he was in his 20s," said Thomas.
Thomas says what she found in the kitchen upset her most. Someone defecated in a bucket.
Even though the church is vacant, there's been a lot of activity here recently because the church and everything inside is up for auction.
Thomas says some of the items stolen were supposed to go up for auction. According to police, this is the second time Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church was vandalized in recent years. Last May, people sprayed the inside of the building with fire extinguishers.
There have been no arrests in either incident. The Shamokin police chief says this recent case is an active investigation and there are persons of interest.