Emmaus police said Friday they believe a group of teens was involved in burning a statue of Jesus outside St. Ann's Catholic Church on Sunday.
One teenager set fire to the head of the statue as the other youths watched just before the 7 a.m. Mass at the church, which is at 415 S. Sixth St., Sgt. Tim Hoats said.
"There were several people together, but only one did the act," he said.
That one 13-year-old is likely to be charged and the case will be referred to the Lehigh County Juvenile Probation Department for sanctions, Hoats said.
Police also said they had determined the crime was not an attack on a religion.
"There was no indication of anti-religious motives or hate crimes or that the church was specifically targeted, but more likely a matter of vandalism," police said in a news release.
The fire disfigured the statue's face of Jesus and caused $2,000 in damage, police said. After passers-by put out the flames, an empty lighter fluid bottle was found nearby.
The Rev. John Mraz, St. Ann's pastor, said Friday he does not know the youngsters involved, but he had talked with police and agreed the burning was not an attack on his church.
"I've been saying all along that I though it was just hooliganism and I didn't think anything more could be made of it," Mraz said. "They [police] think it was just kids who were bored and looking for something to do."