Suspect arrested in vandalism, arson at St. Charles Borromeo Church

investigators pulled security camera footage from buildings surrounding the church

Police tape surrounds St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, after the facility was vandalized overnight. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

Los Angeles police said this week they arrested a man they believe set three fires inside St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood and a fourth just outside the church’s doors last week that caused extensive damage to the iconic building.

In a written statement, officials said 58-year-old Russel Congleton was arrested on Monday by a task force of LAPD investigators. The statement did not say what city Congleton lives in. Sheriff’s booking records show he was being held on $46,000 bail on charges of commercial burglary, arson and vandalism.

Congleton was arrested in connection with the vandalism of the church discovered in the early morning of July 25.

Police said at around 4:45 a.m. that morning, the suspect in the vandalism forced his way into the church through a double door, then proceeded to set three fires inside. The suspect also smashed stained glass windows and destroyed several religious statues, books, candles and candle holders. He also spread holy oils throughout the church.

An LAPD detective on Monday did not say how Congleton was identified, but he said investigators pulled security camera footage from buildings surrounding the church.

Investigators have not said what they believe the suspect’s motive was for attacking the church.

Full story at LA Daily News.

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Comments

  1. Motive – hate crime. However, no one will admit A hate crime against Catholics.

  2. Anonymous 2 says:

    A man named Russell Congleton aka Russell Craig Congleton, age 58, was arrested July 3rd 2018 according to Burbank PD public records, and charged with allegedly threatening with a deadly weapon and allegedly possessing drug paraphernalia. If it is the same person as the alleged church arsonist (Burbank and N. Hollywood are pretty close by each other), he appears to have a long criminal record.

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