Barrington Police called to Zion property last week

Police detain trespassers from all across RI

By Josh Bickford
Posted 1/13/21

The deadline to board up any open windows and doors at the former Zion Bible College property may be fast approaching, but that did nothing to slow down illegal trespassers last week.

On Tuesday, …

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Barrington Police called to Zion property last week

Police detain trespassers from all across RI

Posted

The deadline to board up any open windows and doors at the former Zion Bible College property may be fast approaching, but that did nothing to slow down illegal trespassers last week.

On Tuesday, Jan. 5 at about 9:15 p.m., Barrington police received a call from someone who said there were people throwing items off the roof of the Belton Court mansion on the Zion property. Officers responded and found a car parked near the building. Police cruisers blocked in the vehicle and officers ordered the trespassers off the building. Police said the trespassers were three males from Johnston, ages 17, 18, and 19. The individuals told police they were exploring the property and wanted to see the inside of the tower.

On Saturday, Jan. 9, police received a report of people trespassing inside the Belton Court tower. Officers responding to the scene spotted four individuals walking near St. James Church matching the descriptions of the alleged trespassers. Police stopped the suspects — all four were teenagers — and asked if they had been to the Zion property. They also asked if they had been spray-painting inside the building. A search of one of the teen’s backpacks revealed a can of spray paint.

Police said the teens were from West Greenwich and Exeter between the ages of 19 and 15, who said they learned about the Zion property on Instagram. Police have acquired surveillance footage of the four teens vandalizing the building and plan to charge them with vandalism soon.

The teenagers told police there were a lot of other people trespassing at the property. Officers drove to the vacant college campus and detained eight other teenagers — all from Riverside — trespassing on the property. Police called the teenagers’ parents and told them to come pick up their kids.

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