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Local pastor asks community to help identify vandals

Pocatello

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POCATELLO (KPVI) – After a year of being targeted by vandals, a local pastor says she now has proof and is asking the community for help.

Jacqualine Thomas is the pastor at Praise Temple of God church in Pocatello. For over a year, she says her Pocatello home and church have been the targets of vandalism. Some of those things have included fumes being sprayed into her bedroom, discolored paint, banging noises in the middle of the night, dead patches of grass, and chips taken out of cement.

Dog feces being thrown at her property is the most recent act of vandalism and she says it’s happened multiple times.

She also runs a supportive housing organization called Big Momma’s House that helps the homeless. She just moved that organization’s administrative offices into a new location and says it’s now a target as well.

“I’m not even open up yet. They found that I’m here and they’re doing the same identical thing here now,” Pastor Thomas says.

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Earlier in the week, a newly installed camera finally caught proof that it’s being done on purpose.

The video shows the two men walking a dog down the street, waiting for the dog to go to the bathroom, put the excrement in a bag, wave to a third person out of the camera’s view, and then walk over to the pastor’s property where one of the men throws the bag.

“Physically, I’m drained. Emotionally, it’s a terrible feeling to know that someone could hate you that much,” she says. “This is a hate crime. And for the last couple of months it really has gotten the best of me.”

The vandalism not only makes her worry for her safety but also the safety of those who go to Big Momma’s House looking for help in their time of need.

Pastor Thomas says the police department has been working with her. Nonetheless, there’s been no way to find whoever may be involved in the string of vandalism at her properties.

Now that she’s caught some of it on camera, she’s asking the community for help.

“If you recognize these three young men and this dog. Please, please, please notify the police department.”

If you have any information that might be helpful, call the Pocatello Police Dept. at (208) 234-6100.

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