Police: Vandalism Technically a Hate Crime, Still too Early to Decide

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Updated: 11/12/2013 10:26 am
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.
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Aviele - 11/14/2013 2:06 PM
0 Votes
I think what bothers me most is how people STILL hate the church, in spite of all the good the church and its members do for any community in which a congregation exists. The church does more for humanitarian aid here and around the world than any other religion! The difference? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't make a media spectacle of themselves. Reminds me of Gov. Christie complaining about government handouts--until Hurricane Sandy hit...then he was first in line with his hand out. Nine Inch Nails asks the proper question here: "Will you bite the hand that feeds?" Apparently the answer in Pocatello is "Yes".

Coley - 11/14/2013 9:32 AM
0 Votes
@DrFXT: Thanks for the unsolicited advice but I do have a college degree and a house full of books. If I might ask, what precisely are you a "doctor" of? Your rambling, unfocused, and histrionic screed would indicate it's time for you to see a real doctor and have your meds changed.

DrFXT - 11/14/2013 12:52 AM
0 Votes
@Cooley Incredible. Your attitude is dangerous. Like German Socialists & Tsarists, who claimed to know the mind of God so well they could determine Jews & homosexuals did not deserve to live; first the words, then pogroms, then action. Your "Jim Jones" comparison is fallacious & shows your lack of mental discipline. Read a book & learn how to think critically. First, I'm not Mormon but know the history. It appears history repeats itself in Idaho. Prejudice runs deep there, which is always a function of ignorance & incredibly low sel esteem. Show some responsibility instead of finding others around you to blame. Start by getting an education you sorely lack. Those of your ilk, like Chris, are those who stood by as Blacks & Italians were lynched, Native Americans and Mormons were driven from their legal homes & were executed in America, if not actually participating. Of course the FBI is investigating. I called them & learned how little truth there is in this story. What did you do? Those of your ilk do nothing when faced with evil unlessit touches you personally. Stow your feigned sanctimony. You dont deserve it unless you speak out against all manner of calumny.

Coley - 11/13/2013 9:29 AM
0 Votes
@DrFXT—Save your faux outrage. You're upset at "Chris" because he has the temerity to state the obvious. This is a crime and it is being investigated. Meanwhile, this is 2013, NOT 1900. No one is running you or your LDS brethren out of town. Indeed, you and your fellow elders have a stranglehold on this area where YOU routinely engage in employment and housing discrimination against low-life "gentiles." I imagine life here is somewhat reminiscent of Jonestown, Guyana under Jim Jones—however, you are far better organized. So Doc, relax and let the police do their work. They'll undoubtedly locate the monsters responsible for perpetrating this abomination before GOD; punishment will follow, and we can all get back to our third-world lives here in Idaho. I love a happy ending....

DrFXT - 11/13/2013 7:51 AM
0 Votes
It's incredible that there are people like "Chris" who find this violence understandable because the LDS have upset so many. Even more that the police chief isn't sure if it qualified as a "hate crime." How about if the feds come in and investigate him for depriving LDSers of their rights "under color of law." This state has a checkered "rights" past. Until early 1900s LDS couldn't vote or hold public office.

Chris - 11/10/2013 10:53 PM
0 Votes
who did it? who knows-- they work hard at pissing off lots of groups--women, blacks, gay community, atheists. It could be anyone.

Shame on ID - 11/9/2013 7:47 PM
1 Vote
As so many have said, any other group would be protected. what are you waiting on to determine if it is a hate crime? What is the debatable factor that is still up in the air? Quite certain this would have aired on many many national stations had it been any other group and met with understandable outrage It sounds as though your police chief may need some education-and the opportunity to apologize.

mraff - 11/9/2013 10:06 AM
0 Votes
@samfred81 if you actually had read the article you'd know that the part you quoted was taken from the words of the chief of police himself. That is why the headline starts with "Police:" Please learn to read before getting on here with your own misguided hate and anger.

Your Nemesis - 11/9/2013 6:33 AM
0 Votes
We know good & well if similar language had been used against the GLBT community, it would absolutely be a "hate crime" & there would be total uproar. But since the LDS Christians are not a protected minority like others are, it's "undecided" if it's a hate crime.

SamFred81 - 11/8/2013 5:35 PM
1 Vote
"Technically a Hate Crime, Still too Early to Decide"? Thank you for bringing your bigoted opinion into your reporting. Show some integrity and some respect. You are a disgrace to your station, your city, and NBC as a whole. If you have any fortitude whatsoever, you'll post a retraction and will refrain from being this pathetic again.
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