FARR WEST -- Church members were shocked and appalled to find their meetinghouse covered in dozens of graffiti tags that were obscene and disparaging of their faith.
The vandalism was discovered the morning of May 31 as church members were arriving for Sunday services at the meetinghouse on 2565 Plain City Road, Weber County Lt. Lane Findlay said. A nearby bridge was also heavily tagged in the same manner.
Much of the graffiti was vulgar, insulting to the LDS religion and included Satanic imagery, Findlay said. Some of the messages written in pink spray included “F--- your religion.”
The front plaque near the entrance was also tagged with expletives.
A citizen tip led them to find the suspects as a 13-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl who are siblings, he said.
When confronted by police, the pair admitted to the vandalism and were booked into the Weber Valley Detention Center. Both are being charged with felony criminal mischief.
Due to the volume of the graffiti, the charges were upgraded to a felony and not a simple vandalism citation, Findlay said.
The damage was estimated to be about $3,000.
The church must pay for the graffiti removal, though they can ask for assistance from a juvenile graffiti clean-up crew and the suspects may be forced to pay restitution if found guilty of the crime.
The graffiti has since been removed or covered.
The amount of graffiti tagging normally increases in the summer due to the warm weather and schools being out, Findlay said.
Officials in the ward declined to comment on the incident.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints public affairs office responded to the vandalism
“Our Church buildings are places of worship and community gathering where all are welcome. We are saddened by the damage that has occurred at this location,” Eric Hawkins, LDS Church spokesperson said in a statement.
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.