Two Harford County men have been charged with breaking into a Bel Air church and spraypainting hateful terms and symbols inside.
Blaine Kenneth Kluge, 24, of the 1900 block of Pleasantville Road in Forest Hill, and Nigel Duncan Colin Hambrook, 24, of the 1300 block of Bennett Place in Bel Air, are each charged with burglary, theft, malicious destruction of property, defacing the property of a religious organization, and several other bias-related offenses, according to the Bel Air Police Department.
Both were arrested Wednesday and taken to the Harford County Detention Center.
Kluge continues to be held without bail following a bail review hearing in Harford County District Court Friday afternoon.
Hambrook posted $7,500 bond and was released Wednesday, according to electronic court records.
Bel Air police officers responded to the Bel Air United Methodist Church on Lindwood Avenue for a burglary alarm Sept. 14, and discovered a swastika, a racist term for black people and an anti-gay slur had been spraypainted in an enclosed space behind the altar, police said.
A small organ pipe was also taken, according to police.
Surveillance video obtained by police showed two individuals climb to the roof of the church around 2:22 a.m. Sept. 14 by climbing up a garbage dumpster and an electrical box attached to the building, then entering the church through an unlocked roof hatch, according to charging documents.
Investigators used surveillance video from a number of businesses around Bel Air, including Harford Bank and 7-Eleven, from earlier that night to identify two suspects wearing similar clothing and having similar features to those shown on church surveillance, where the two attempted to cover their faces, according to the court documents.
Police also interviewed several individuals seen walking with the two on video, who reported the two were acting strangely and that one said something about doing “acid,” according to the documents.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Det. Alex Maro of the Bel Air Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410-638-4524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary hearings for Kluge and Hambrook have been scheduled for Nov. 27 in district court.