Police bust 3 for wave of LDS Church vandalism in Washington County

LDS Church vandalism. Photo: St. George Police

ST. GEORGE, Utah, July 27, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have made three arrests in last week’s outbreak of vandalism of 14 buildings belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington County.

The damage, largely broken windows, was first discovered in the early morning hours of July 20 at a church building at 3891 E. Desert Canyons Parkway in St. George, according to a social media post by the St. George Police Department on Wednesday night.

Police agencies in surrounding Washington County communities began checking churches in their area and found 13 more vandalized in Washington City and Hurricane, all LDS facilities.

“No damage was located in any other house of worship in the area,” according to the SGPD press release. “Combined, the damages are estimated at over five thousand dollars.”

Several days later, the release said, tips developed from social media messages between several young adults and juveniles that pointed to three suspects.

Two of the suspects, an adult and a juvenile, were interviewed by St. George police “and admitted their involvement in theses incidents.”

The adult, Nathan David Monroy, 18, was arrested and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility, where he faces charges of second-degree felony criminal mischief. A 17-year-old juvenile also was arrested and booked into the Dixie Area Detention Center and faces the same charges.

Another involved adult, Zachary Martin Steele, 18, was later located and arrested by Washington City officers and now faces the same charges.

“These arrests stem from detailed witness accounts, tips from concerned citizens and the teamwork of Hurricane City Police Department, Washington City Police Department and the St. George Police Department,” the press release states.

“Thank you to the citizens who take ownership in our community in reporting suspicious activity and providing tips to help us solve these crimes, exemplifying what it means to say #Iam SGPD,” a reference to the St. George Police Department’s web page title.


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