PROVO — A meetinghouse and surrounding property for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Provo was vandalized with graffiti overnight Saturday, officials report.
The graffiti on the church, at 555 E. 3230 North, contained “a lot of profanity” along with "anti-religious and anti-Trump remarks," according to Provo police detective Nick Dupaix.
The vandalism was reported to police Sunday morning, but officials believe it was done overnight Saturday.
Dupaix said “quite a bit” of graffiti was found on the fence line in the parking lot and on the actual church building. KSL received photos of the vandalism but has chosen not to publish them along with this story due to the amount of profanities.
A church spokesman, Eric Hawkins, released a statement Sunday evening:
"Our Church buildings are places of worship and community gathering where all are welcome. We are saddened by the damage that has occurred at this location. At this point authorities are conducting their investigation, and would be the appropriate source for any additional details."
Dupaix did not say whether police were calling it a hate crime.
“I can’t say what the intent was, but I would say that with a lot of things that were said on the speech through the graffiti — I would definitely say there were a lot of hateful things that seem to be anti-religious (and) anti-political in the rhetoric that they had on the graffiti,” he said.
The investigation will include police officers who specialize in graffiti to follow up on leads based on handwriting and other factors, Dupaix said.
“Usually, there’s certain tags on the graffiti that they may recognize and be able to tie to certain people,” he added.
Graffiti cleanup will likely be provided through a special program as part of Provo’s community policing division but may take a couple of days for that response, Dupaix said.
Contributing: Tania Dean, KSL TV