TAMPA, Fla. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who burglarized a church and lit several pews on fire.
On Friday, September 18, 2020, at approximately 10:36 p.m., an unknown subject entered Incarnation Catholic Church by breaking a glass pane to the west side doors.
The man appeared to have a large bottle in his hands when he entered the sanctuary. Video surveillance shows him pouring the flammable liquid onto three wooden pews, before setting them on fire. At approximately 10:39 p.m., the man fled through the east entrance without appearing to take anything from the church.
HCSO deputies, a Hillsborough Fire Marshal fire investigator, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded to the scene.
“We are working to identify this criminal who broke into one of Town ‘N’ Country’s most popular Catholic Churches and caused significant damage,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “While we are unsure of his motive, it is clear he has no respect for private property or a sacred place of worship. We promise this church community we are doing everything we can to capture this suspect and ensure he is held accountable for his actions.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8118.