Cass County church vandalism suspect identified

Cass County church vandalism suspect identified
Authorities have identified Jonathan Hamilton, 33, of Linden, as the suspect in a string of recent church vandalism incidents in Cass County. (Source: Cass County Sheriff's Office)

CASS COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The identity of a suspected Cass County church vandal has been revealed.

Jonathan Hamilton, 33, of Linden, was arrested Friday night by Hughes Springs police under suspicion of his alleged involvement with a string of a half-dozen recent church vandalism incidents in the Hughes Springs-Avinger area.

For 2 weeks authorities in Cass county had been looking for a man seen on security video burglarizing Hughes Springs Missionary Baptist church, suspected of breaking into over a half dozen churches.

“Several churches here in Hughes Springs, Avinger, Linden, back toward Atlanta and the New Colony area,” said Hughes Springs police chief Randy Kennedy.

Oddly enough it was a traffic stop in Hughes Springs, and what was seen in the car that alerted an officer.

“A flashlight and a pry-bar that he had used at some of the other churches,” the chief says.

33 year old Johnathan Hamilton of Linden was taken into custody.

Much to the surprise of police, Hamilton was still in possession of items from the church burglaries. He was even wearing some of the same identifiable clothing.

“What really caught the officers attention was that Hamilton was still wearing a muscle shirt, the same shirt in the video,” Kennedy says.

Police say Hamilton was seen wearing a hockey mask in the security video as he ransacked the churches, something he later discarded.

“He got rid of the hockey mask as soon as he found out that we put it on Facebook and channel 7 news,” says Kennedy.

But it was something distinctive about him that did him in.

“We were able to identify some tattoos on his chest area and neck area,” the chief says.

Investigators say Hamilton admitted targeting churches because no one would be there to identify him.

He remains in the Cass county jail charged with possession of a controlled substance and burglary.

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