WEST JORDAN, Utah, June 17, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Vandals caused some $50,000 in damages to a West Jordan church Tuesday.
The incident occurred at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse at the intersection of Westland Drive and Judd Lane at approximately 4:30 p.m., West Jordan Police Department Lt. Richard Bell told Gephardt Daily.
“The fire department actually got dispatched over there. Someone was reporting that there was a large amount of smoke coming out of a window,” Bell said.
“They got there, determined that it wasn’t actually smoke, it was the chemicals and stuff that comes out of a fire extinguisher when you discharge it,” he said. “So they discovered that that had been done, and at that point the firefighters that were there just saw that there was a tremendous amount of damage that had occurred, so we got contacted and notified.”
Officers spoke with witnesses who live nearby and determined that they had seen three younger boys, described as “middle-school age” leaving the church, Bell said. The witnesses did not have names or know specifically who these boys were, but they did recognize them as frequenting the area and allegedly causing problems before. Officials believe the boys may live in the area.
“As far as the damage in the church, once we started documenting that, it was pretty extensive; they broke out probably 15 to 20 windows, they smashed a glass door, they punched holes in the drywall, they tore down suspended ceilings in places, they drew lewd pictures on the walls with markers, they broke pictures, turned pianos upside down, broke toilets which caused some flooding.”
It’s not clear if the church was open at the time of the incident or whether the individuals broke into the building.
Bell said the individuals will likely face felony criminal mischief charges because of the extent of the damages, as well as burglary charges.
Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to call the West Jordan dispatch center at 801-840-4000.