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Police: St. Patrick's crane tampered with

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Updated: 5/15/2013 4:01 pm

WATERVLIET, N.Y. - The Watervliet Police Department says demolition at St. Patrick's Church has once again been delayed, this time due to someone tampering with the crane on site.

Police say sometime overnight, between Tuesday night and the arrival of work crews on Wednesday morning, a person or persons trespassed onto the site and tampered with the fuel tank on the crane being erected to continue demolition of the church's bell tower.

The crane was temporarily disabled and work has been again delayed due Wednesday due to this act of vandalism, police say. The crane is owned by a private contractor, not affiliated with the owners of the site property.

Demolition of the historic church's 137-foot-tall bell tower was delayed last week when the cables attached to the structure snapped. The crew was expected try again on Monday, but Nigro Companies said the work had been put off again.

The nearly 125-year-old Catholic church in Watervliet is being demolished to make way for a supermarket. The church closed in 2011.

The site security will now be enhanced throughout the night with a permanent police presence to prevent any further incidents of this kind.

Police say work is scheduled to resume on the tower sometime Thursday upon completion of the crane assembly.

If anyone has any information regarding the incident they should contact the Watervliet Police Department at 270-3833.

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