KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A local church congregation is busy cleaning up a mess left after a break-in, and the Pastor caught the vandal in the act.
Pastor Charles Reynolds was able to keep the man from continuing his rampage inside of Dutch Valley Baptist Church, but the intruder's path is obvious.
He broke into the sanctuary, on Dutch Valley Drive in North Knoxville, by throwing a heavy garden stone through a window by the front door, breaking part of the tile floor inside.
He ransacked part of the sanctuary, in what the Pastor thinks was an attempt to find money.
But, the church office was the hardest hit, and the church safe was the target.
A fire extinguisher was used to bash the safe, but it wouldn't open, so the wall was cut-open, and papers and an American Flag were used to start a fire behind the safe.
That's when Pastor Reynolds arrived to prepare for their Wednesday evening service.
"And I said what are you doing in here, and he turned and started running and just, well I took off chasing him and he actually climbed out the same window that he came in at," Reynolds said.
Reynolds called the Knoxville Fire Department and luckily they had the fire out moments later.
The man also damaged several doors in the church when he kicked them in to different rooms.
The pastor estimates it'll cost several thousand dollars to clean up.
The knoxville police department is investigating the break-in, but they have not released any information about the suspect.
The congregation hopes to have the mess cleaned up and everything back to normal in time for Sunday service.