3 arrested after 14 LDS churches vandalized in Washington County

Posted at 9:12 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 11:12:14-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Three suspects were arrested, including one juvenile, after 14 churches belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were vandalized last week.

Nathan David Monroy, 18, Zachary Martin Steele, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile were taken into custody. Police estimate the teenagers caused over $5,000 in damages in the area.

Police in St. George first received a call on July 20 about a group of suspects breaking windows at a church at 3891 East Desert Canyons Parkway. Officers had received reports of a similar crime in Washington County the night before.

An investigation by surrounding police departments located several other buildings with broken windows in St. George, Washington City and Hurricane. A total of 14 churches were found to have been damaged over the course of a few days.

Nine churches in St. George were vandalized, with three or four in Hurricane and two in Washington City.

Police received a tip claiming that social media messages identified the three suspects involved in the windows being broken. During an interview with St. George police, Monroy and the 17-year-old admitted to being involved, while Steele was later located and arrested by Washington City police officers.

Monroy and Steele were both booked into jail and each face a charge of criminal mischief. The juvenile taken to the Dixie Area Detention center and booked.