Five suspects arrested in church vandalism cases


Three counties in search of the same vandalism suspects have made several new arrests.

For the past two weeks, police in Unicoi and Washington County Tennessee, as well as in Madison County, North Carolina, have been investigating several similar cases of vandalism.

In Unicoi County, cars were spray painted with upside down crosses and swastikas, and tires were stabbed. A church was also vandalized.

In Washington County, three vans belonging to Enon Baptist Church were vandalized-- tires slashed, windows shattered, and spray painted with upside down crosses.

"We live in the Bible Belt. So, when you mess with our churches, we're going to come and get you," said Washington County sheriff, Ed Graybeal.

And in Madison County, North Carolina, almost 40 mailboxes were damaged. One was even blown up by an improvised explosive.

"We will have charges in North Carolina for possession of mass destruction," said Madison County sheriff, Buddy Harwood. "Once Tennessee is through with these individuals, we will extradite them back to North Carolina."

Now, five suspects have been arrested in relation to the cases. Four minors and one adult-- Thomas Blaylock, 19. They're all from Erwin, Tenn.

All of the suspects are facing multiple vandalism charges as well as civil rights intimidation charges.

Victims of the vandalism are making adjustments after being .

"We've got an open eye now. we've installed more cameras," said Jerry Williams, whose car tire was punctured by the vandals.

The sheriff's offices are still searching for more possible suspects. If you are a victim of any vandalism, you're asked to call police.

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