Meghan Heinze, 22, charged in Lake Co. church vandalism - FOX 32 News Chicago

Gurnee woman charged in Lake Co. church vandalism

Posted: Updated:
Meghan Heinze, 22. (Gurnee Police) Meghan Heinze, 22. (Gurnee Police)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
St. Paul the Apostle. (FOX 32's Craig Wall) St. Paul the Apostle. (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
Village Church of Gurnee. (FOX 32's Craig Wall) Village Church of Gurnee. (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
The door on the right was smashed and since replaced. (FOX 32's Craig Wall) The door on the right was smashed and since replaced. (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 22-year-old Gurnee woman was arrested and accused of vandalizing houses of worship in Lake County. Investigators believe the evidence suggests Meghan Heinze may have been planning something more sinister.

Prosecutors charged Heinze with 21 counts for smashing windows and spray painting graffiti on churches and a mosque in Gurnee, Waukegan, Libertyville and unincorporated Lake County.

RELATED: Cops seek suspect in church, mosque vandalism

The woman was arrested after officers at traffic court recognized her from surveillance images that caught her in the act of vandalizing a church in Gurnee.

But what concerned prosecutors more than the smashed church doors and hateful graffiti they say Heinze confessed to was this:

"We received some information in looking through her phone in some of the text messages where she was attempting to acquire a handgun," Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim said.

When police searched Heinze' Gurnee home, they recovered spray paint and a bat with shards of glass in it. The family declined comment, but a neighbor was stunned.

"I've seen her come and go but I don't really know her," Lynda Jacobs said. "It's just very strange to have that right here in the neighborhood I guess."

What also disturbed authorities was what they described as Heinze's obsession with Nazis and serial killers. She told them she was angry at the church in general.

"She just doesn't believe in religion and thinks that people who believe in religion are silly and wasting their time," Nerheim said.

Heinze's arrest brought relief to pastors and parishioners alike.

"We were expecting there might be more, and you know wondering when that might happen, and what it might look like," Village Church of Gurnee parishioner Pat Gorman said. "It was definitely good to hear that. We'll be praying for her I'm sure."

Despite Heinze's alleged attempts to obtain a gun, the state's attorney does not believe there was any real danger to churches or parishioners.

Heinze remained in jail Friday night on $500,000 bond.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices