St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church was “ransacked” late July 9 or early July 10. — Lauren Collins photo

Columbia Beach church ‘ransacked’

Oceanside RCMP said the suspect gained access through a side window

Members of the St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church were greeted with a mess when they arrived Monday morning, July 10.

Vic Blasco, a member of the church in Columbia Beach, said he got to the building around 10 a.m. Monday morning to do some work on the shed when he noticed the front door was open. He said there was also a garbage can sitting below one of the windows.

The Oceanside RCMP is investigating a break-in at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The RCMP was called to the church and discovered that the church had been “ransacked with furniture and religious items strewn about,” police said in a news release.

The entire church was vandalized, Blasco said. “They did not leave one corner untouched. It’s unbelievable.”

Inside the church, Blasco said, the piano had been moved, pictures were hanging crooked, items in cabinets had been thrown around and even the attic was a mess. Blasco said whoever came in even took out a tub of ice cream and left it out.

“They went behind the altar and just tore everything out behind the altar,” he said.

Some items such as chalices, crosses and lighting systems are “all gone,” said Blasco.

However, the release states it appeared that nothing of significance was stolen.

Oceanside RCMP said the suspect gained access through a side window and the crime occurred in the late hours of July 9 or possibly the early morning hours of July 10. The investigation is ongoing.

The church, which is at the corner of Sharon’s Place and Karl’s Way, hosts a weekly perogy dinner.

“As far as we know, no perogies were taken,” Blasco said with a laugh.

If anyone has any information about this crime, please call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111 or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

— With files from the Oceanside RCMP

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St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Columbia Beach was “ransacked” late Sunday or early Monday, according to Oceanside RCMP. — Photo courtesy of St. Mary the Protectress’ Facebook

St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Columbia Beach was “ransacked” late Sunday or early Monday, according to Oceanside RCMP. — Photo courtesy of St. Mary the Protectress’ Facebook