Man breaks in, vandalizes News and Observer building

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Suspect in the News and Observer break in (courtesy Raleigh Police Department) (WTVD)

Raleigh police are investigating two burglaries within just a block of each other in downtown Raleigh.

Overnight, the News and Observer was broken into and vandalized. A block away, the same thing happened at the First Presbyterian Church.

Police said just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning, surveillance video captured a man walking through the N&O in the 200 block of South McDowell Street.

PHOTOS: News and Observer, church building vandalized

Police said the suspect vandalized and damaged property inside the building.

Representatives with the newspaper said the vandal trashed the news department and administrative offices. They also said from the surveillance video it appears the suspect was in the building for at least half an hour and appeared to be intoxicated. At the time, at least 10 members of N&O staff were inside the building.

Blood was found at the scene and police said they believe it was the suspect's.

Just a block away, the First Presbyterian Church on Salisbury Street was also broken into and vandalized overnight.

Rev. Anna Dickson confirmed that they had a break in and that the damage was mainly in the children's area.

Church staff said they found 17 of their decorative rocks thrown through two windows in their childcare area. The windows were smashed and several cribs were damaged. Just before 8 a.m. an employee found the childcare room full of broken glass and papers thrown all around. There was even a door to a tool shed that was broken into.

Nothing appeared to have been stolen at either location.

Anyone who believes they may recognize the suspect in the surveillance photo or who has other information that might assist the investigation of the case is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP or visit raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

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