Three young men have been arrested in connection to a hate crime at a Valley church.
Police said three men were seen fleeing an unoccupied home at 14165 W. Weldon Ave. in Goodyear about 10 a.m. Wednesday and detectives found property stolen last week from Desert Springs Community Church as well as graffiti.
Stevon Gonzales, Jr., 21, and Cody Heble, 19, were arrested and taken into custody as suspects in the church theft. Rodney Robinson, 18, was arrested for possession of stolen property.
Detectives believe at least one suspect is still on the loose.
The Goodyear Police Department spokeswoman Lisa Kutis said police got the 911 call from a worker who discovered someone broke into Desert Springs Church at 144th Avenue and Indian School Road in Goodyear and did extensive damage by spray painting profanities and hate crime symbols inside. They also stole electronics.
Police got the 911 call from a worker who discovered the vandalism.
The church community came together to hold a service last weekend despite the damage.
"It happened to us and we're dealing with it and people are praying, in fact praying for the folks who did this already, that God would work in their hearts," Pastor Stephen Engram said.
People who live in the neighborhood say cars in the area have also been tagged and vandalized.
Police said there is an estimated $40,000 in damages to the church.
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