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Perry Hall church works to restore community center after break-in

Officials and members of the congregation at Perry Hall Presbyterian Church are working to repair the church Fellowship Hall after it was damaged by burglars in late-December.

Pastor Joseph Condro said members of the church, in the 8800 block of Belair Road, had noticed for months that people were entering the building, which is primarily used as a community meeting space, without authorization. He said cigarette ashes, damaged property and trash were found inside on multiple occasions.

In one instance, Condro said parishioners discovered a sleeping individual who rushed out when spotted.

"We just could never catch them," Condro said.

Then, around 10:10 p.m. Dec. 29, a parishioner contacted Baltimore County Police after noticing that an air conditioner had been pulled out of the front of the hall, said Cpl. Cathleen Batton, a police spokeswoman. Upon arrival, officers discovered seven shattered windows, with fresh blood on a rear window, and large containers of pickles and salsa on the floor inside.

Police and K-9 units later tracked down and arrested two suspects on Belair Road near Joppa Road, Batton said.

Police said Jason Copherman, 19, and Andrew Copherman, 18, of the 9200 block of Hines Meadow Way in Parkville, face burglary and destruction of property charges in connection with the incident. Jason Copherman is facing additional burglary charges related to break-ins on Nov. 28 and 29.

Church officials are now seeking volunteers and financial donors to help restore the hall. Tasks include painting the building and installing new carpeting or tiling.

"It was like looking at an NCIS crime scene," Condro said.

Those interested in helping out can call the church at 410-256-6780.

Condro said he's keeping the Cophermans in his thoughts as well. "We're going to reach out to this family and see if we can help them," he said.

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