Madawaska man accused of vandalizing Catholic church

2 months ago

This story will be updated.

A Madawaska man was arrested Monday for allegedly causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

Randy Lavoie, 47, is now at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton, awaiting arraignment on charges of burglary and aggravated criminal mischief, police said. 

Police responded at about 3 a.m. Monday after receiving a report of suspicious activity at the church, Madawaska Police Chief Jamie Pelletier said in a statement.

Officers found Lavoie there and detained him while they investigated, then arrested him, Pelletier said. Other charges are pending.

Both charges are Class C felonies under Maine statute, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Evidence recovery technicians from the Maine State Police were also at the scene. Church officials told police the damages are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Pelletier.

Though he could not speak about the damages because the investigation is ongoing, Rev. Kent Ouellette, St. Thomas pastor, said the church community has turned out to support one another in prayer.

“We face challenges,” he said. “We pray for those involved. We ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness and for his healing, and that’s about all we can do as people of faith.”

No further information was immediately available.