Number of LDS churches vandalized increases to 7

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Another church building belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been vandalized. This incident in Sandy is the seventh in a string of vandalisms targeting the Church's chapels.

Churches in Weber and Davis counties were also hit by vandals over the weekend, raising concerns about a possible hate crime. In those incidents, vandals shattered doors and windows.

"It appears a projectile, a smaller projectile, has hit the window, obviously with enough force to break the window," said Sandy police Sgt. Justin Chapman.

A custodian called police when he saw the damage to the door of the LDS chapel at 11500 S. Wasatch Blvd. around 8:30 last night. Police say a BB gun or Airsoft pellet gun could be to blame.

"Of course it's concerning, because it is a church," Chapman said.

Vandals targeted several other LDS Churches over the weekend.

In Ogden, church members showed up for services at the 4191 Old Post Road building on Sunday morning to find the door shattered. It was a similar scene at another church in the same city the night before.

"It could be anything. I don't think there is anything out of the realm of possibility that caused this window to be broken. Anywhere from teenagers to someone who may not like how a particular bishop handled a situation," Ogden police Lt. Scott Sangberg said.

Also over the weekend, glass windows and doors of four LDS churches in Layton were shattered by what appeared to be bullets.

"It's really sad because it costs money. The destruction of property is just not good. It's not the way we live in America," said Bill Campbell, a member a ward that meets in one of the vandalized buildings.

The vandalisms happened just after thousands of people in Utah and California protested the Church's support of California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.

But police in Utah say it's too early to tell motive. They don't know if the same people are behind the vandalisms either.

"To tie that to anything, at this point, would be premature for us because we don't have all the information we need right now," Chapman said.

Police in Sandy say, typically, vandalisms are handled on a case-by-case basis. This case is being treated like a typical property crime until evidence shows otherwise.



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Sandra Yi and Andrew Adams


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