WEST JORDAN — West Jordan Police are looking for vandals who caused upwards of $50,000 in damage to a neighborhood church.
To see the vandalism at any church, much less her own church upset Lea Christensen. "It doesn't matter if it's an LDS church, a Jewish church, a Catholic church, it's still a church."
Police responded to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' meetinghouse at 9300 S. Judd Lane around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"Initial report was that there was smoke coming from the church," said Lt. Richard Bell from the West Jordan Police Department. "They realized that that was not the case. Somebody had actually gone in and activated all of the fire extinguishers in the building," said Bell.
The damage was staggering with overturned furniture and pictures smashed. "They discovered 15 to 20 exterior windows had been broken out," Bell described. "There had been some lewd drawings and some racial slang, slurs written on the wall in marker. Pianos turned upside down, pictures smashed, toilets broken, which resulted in some flooding."
Police suspected three middle-school-aged boys did it as multiple neighbors saw kids that age running from the direction of the church.
"It makes you wonder if they have any kind of knowledge of what the repercussions are, you know," said Darren Christensen. He was one of those who saw the kids running. "They don't realize that their parents are responsible for them. So, any damage, if they find them, which I'm sure they will, their parents are responsible to pay all of that money back."
Police said they have solid leads and expected to make arrests soon. The crime could amount to a second-degree felony.