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Woman Charged With Vandalizing Suburban Houses Of Worship

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Meghan Heinze (Credit: Gurnee Police)

Meghan Heinze (Credit: Gurnee Police)

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GURNEE, Ill. (STMW) – A north suburban woman was charged with multiple felonies Thursday for defacing at least 10 religious institutions in northern Lake County, according to police.

Meghan Heinze, 22, of Gurnee, is charged with 10 counts of institutional vandalism, 10 counts of criminal defacement, and two counts of criminal damage to property, all felonies, according to Gurnee police.

Heinze used red spray paint to draw various symbols on religious buildings between Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, police said.

In one instance, surveillance video captured Heinze spray painting a church in Gurnee, and leaving in a light-colored SUV, police said.

During the same time period, similar incidents occurred in houses of worship in nearby Waukegan, the statement said.

Nearly a dozen places of worship were defaced with graffiti or damaged, a statement from Waukegan and Gurnee police earlier this month said.

The same words were spray painted on the buildings—a phrase with an expletive to mock their faith with a smiley face beneath the offending words, Waukegan police said.

The incidents did not target specific faiths, and included Christian churches, a Greek Orthodox church and a mosque.

Heinze was arrested after Gurnee officers attending traffic court saw a person matching her description. She was questioned and later taken into custody without incident, the statement said.

Heinze was ordered held in the Lake County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Detectives from neighboring communities are also questioning Heinze for similar vandalisms and are seeking additional charges, the statement said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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