Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints woke up early Thursday morning to find three of their buildings had been tagged by vandals.
Chubbuck Police Chief Randy Severe says dispatch started taking calls about the crimes at 6:45 a.m., Thursday. Detectives are investigating the vandalism which includes several anti-Mormon statements, vulgar language, numerous drawings of male and female genitalia and a depiction of the devil. Chief Severe did say he believes the same suspect or suspects were involved in all three vandalisms. The criminals, once caught, will likely face felony charges once the damages are determined to be greater than $1000.
As far as a hate crime, Chief Severe says it would technically fall into that category because the vandalism involves a religous building, but he cautioned it's far too early in the investigation to make that decision.
President Dave Penrod, Stake President of the Pocatello North Stake, says they are working with a restoration company and plan to have the vandalism removed as soon as possible.
Church officials released this statement after learning of the vandalism, "Our Church buildings are places of worship and community gathering where all are welcome. We are saddened by the vandalism that has occurred at these locations. At this point authorities have just begun their initial investigation, and it may be some time before additional details are available."
Stay tuned on KPVI News Six for the very latest on this developing story.