Church burglarized twice in less than 1 week

Posted at 7:06 PM, Aug 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-29 21:06:36-04

MAGNA, Utah – A Catholic church in Magna was broken into and vandalized last weekend, and it was broken into yet again Wednesday night.

This marks the fifth time Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church has been vandalized in the last four years, with Wednesday’s event coming days after vandals broke into the church and destroyed artwork and statues.

Deacon Rick Huffman, Our Lady of Lourdes, said someone broke into the church office Wednesday night.

“The window had been broken in the back, and they jimmied the door open with a screwdriver,” he said.

Huffman said the burglars made off with some church property.

“They broke into a security safe file cabinet that has some documents and papers and stuff that we keep,” he said. ”They stole some stuff out of there. They stole a computer off of the father's desk.”

Melanie Dern, Our Lady of Lourdes financial coordinator, said she is shocked by the crimes.

“It's not right to do this to a church,” she said.

In Sunday’s incident, the vandals broke statutes, trampled artwork and they even threw condiments and beverages from the church’s refrigerator all over the floor.

Huffman said they had only recently finished cleaning up the mess from the first incident when this second burglary occurred.

“It took Utah Disaster Cleanup three days with a lot of people and special equipment to clean,” he said.

Parishioner Chance Elsbury said it’s hard to know how to react to such crimes.

“You don’t know what to say,” he said. “Your jaw drops, and like, ‘Who did this?' The first thing on my mind is I want to catch these guys.”

A security system has been installed in the church in response to the recent issues. Unified Police Department officials said they are working hard on the case and have substantial evidence. They said they have leads they are pursuing, and they ask anyone with information regarding the crimes to contact them.