LDS churches in Utah targeted by vandals

Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Vandals threw rocks laden with antagonistic messages through the glass doors of five Latter Day Saints churches in Utah, police said.

Police in South Jordan, Utah, said the typewritten messages attached to the rocks last weekend read "Stop spreading your lies, pagans," The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

Police said the vandalism in South Jordan and Riverton, Utah, appeared to have occurred overnight Saturday as the rocks were found by church members preparing for church activities Sunday morning.

South Jordan police officer B.J. Smith said while police have no suspects to date, the details of the crimes could result in possible hate crime charges.

"It's leaning that way, toward more like a hate crime, but we wouldn't know until we made suspect contact and interviewed them to determine exactly what their intent was," Smith told the Tribune.

If the incidents are officially deemed hate crimes, anyone arrested would face enhanced charges beyond mere vandalism.

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