Teen accused of hate crime in Belleville church break-in - KMOV.com

Teen accused of hate crime in Belleville church break-in

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A teenager faces a hate-crime charge after authorities say he helped vandalize a southwestern Illinois church.

Prosecutors in St. Clair County also have charged Codie Engelke, 18, of Belleville with burglary and criminal damage to property. He’s jailed on $150,000 bond.

Investigators say the pastor of Belleville’s New Freedom Baptist Church saw several people enter the place of worship July 31. Police who were summoned say they found racial epithets written inside, as well as other vandalism.

Police say they took four juveniles and an adult into custody.

A 19-year-old man has already been charged with burglary and criminal property damage.

Engelke’s public defender hasn’t returned a message seeking comment Monday.

 

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