Vandals inflict $43,000 in damage, dumping paint stripper on cars at Evergreen church prayer meeting

Vandals also scratched cars, broke church windows

EVERGREEN, Colo. - Authorities are trying to identify who caused more than $43,000 in damage by pouring paint-stripper on 17 cars parked outside of an Evergreen church praying meeting on Tuesday night.

Members of Intercessors of the Trinity Prayer Group arriving for a meeting at 6 p.m. found that someone had thrown rocks through the windows of a barn that had been converted into a church, located at 27054 N. Turkey Creek Road, Jefferson County sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer said Friday. Investigators said the windows were broken between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Then, while the prayer group was meeting between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., someone poured a gel-based paint stripper over 17 cars in the church parking lot, Techmeyer said. The stripper took the paint down to the bare metal of the cars, causing extensive damage. There were also scratches on many of the cars.

Victim estimates put a total value of the damage at over $43,000. That estimate is expected to climb after actual body shop estimates are completed, Techmeyer said.