- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) - Authorities are stepping up patrols after another rural southern Indiana church was vandalized.

The Bartholomew County sheriff’s department says Triumphant Baptist Church near Columbus had broken exterior flood lights and a shattered window. Deputies responded Monday night after the church’s alarm system notified them about intruders.

The vandalism comes after someone tried to set Ohio Chapel United Methodist Church near Columbus on fire over the weekend.

A maintenance worker at Ohio Chapel United Methodist Church spotted the damage and called police Saturday. Several windows were broken and fires were set in the sanctuary and basement but didn’t spread. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information.

Church vandalism also has been reported in neighboring Brown County. In all, at least five cases are under investigation since late June.

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