CRIME

Prince William church cleans up after crime, moves on

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A Prince William congregation is moving on after their church became a crime-scene.

Police scoured for clues at Holiness Tabernacle on Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge after vandals did their damage.

Glass still liters the walkway leading up to the church. Several windows were smashed. Inside, doors were kicked in, a computer screen slashed, a laptop stolen, and a TV and DVD player were lying crumbled on the floor.

When employees showed up Monday morning, they couldn't believe their eyes.

Pastor Eddie Pruitte says he's now turning his energy to preventing future crimes by stepping up security.

"But it has to be a church," he says. "We won't put bars on the windows. We won't have dogs in here. It's going to always remain a church. A house of god for worship."

The congregation is rallying together, cleaning up for Saturday's tea and annual women's weekend.

Monday's crime investigation put the brakes on their bi-weekly food distribution.

Pruitte vows never to let that happen again.

"The police had to come out and dust for fingerprints," he says. "People were turned away from us giving them food. That probably bothered me the most."

The 14-year-old church has been in its Woodbridge location for more than three years.

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