Officials: No votes affected after pair break into early voting location

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A young adult and a teen are in trouble after breaking into a local early voting location early Sunday morning.

A 14-year-old and Willie Smith, 18, were arrested and charged with burglary, theft of property, vandalism, and evading arrest, police said.

Officials said the two crooks broke into the Greater Middle Baptist Church in the 4900 block of Knight Arnold Road around 2 a.m.

Authorities told WREG the two broke four windows, smashed in a door, and ripped a 2-alarm panel off the church wall.

They also reportedly tried to steal a Nintendo Wii game console along with 5 Amazon Kindles.

The Shelby County Election Commission said all the of machines inside the church were unharmed and untouched. Voter access cards and other secured election materials were not tampered with and still locked away.

“It was clear that the break-in was the work of amateurs,” said Linda Phillips, administrator of elections for SCEC. “The miscreants broke a window and tore the alarm panel off the wall. Apparently, they did not know that removing the panel sends a signal, instead of disabling the system.”

“I want to stress that no votes stored on the machines or on cards at the site were affected,” Phillips said. “While unfortunate, this event goes to show that the equipment and cards are safe.”

On Saturday, 477 people voted at the polling location and more than 7 thousand people cast a ballot since early voting started.