LINCOLNTON, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A 27-year-old Lincolnton man stole and then spray-painted a church bus, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.

Deputies responded to calls regarding the incident at Salem Baptist Church where a church bus had been reported stolen. The bus had not been seen since Jan.13, according to the sheriff’s report. The bus was found on Jan. 19, abandoned, with black spray paint covering both sides of the bus.

Detectives were able to identify 27-year-old James Thatcher as the suspect and a search ensued. Thatcher was found on Jan. 21 and was charged following an interview.

Snow and ice prompt closures and delays around Mecklenburg County

Thatcher was also charged in connection to a home break-in that occurred at a relative’s house in September.

The sheriff’s office says this is not being considered a hate crime at this time.