Idaho Falls church looking ahead after vandalism, theft

Local church moving on after vandalism

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - An Idaho Falls church is cleaning up after it was vandalized over the weekend. Members of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Sunnyside and Rollandet, discovered the damage before services yesterday morning.

"Shock and probably sadness," Heide Weatherby, Church Administrator for the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, said. "I think we all were a little sad that this happened."

The vandals stuck items such as books in broken windows. They stole $10,000 to $12,000 worth of property sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Items stolen included a sound system and several religious items such as a baptismal candle and stand, and communion  trays.

"And then took everything that was on the alter," said Weatherby. "There was a bible, and then another Lutheran book of worship that was taken and ripped all apart and put in the aisle. And knocked over the candelabras and stole a banner there."

Detectives say they do have leads on possible persons of interest. 

"They have been fingerprinting all of the evidence and trying their best to do that quickly and efficiently," Holly Cook, Public Information Officer for the Idaho Falls Police Department, said. "But there is a lot of damage here. It is a very serious case and it's very, very saddening that this would occur."

Despite the vandalism and theft, the church says they're carrying on. 

"We'll clean up and we'll get new things," said Weatherby. "It didn't stop anything from happening if that was the intent of the people that did it. If the intent was to prevent us from having Sunday worship because we just brought everybody together in the fellowship hall and had worship there."

The church has a conference scheduled in Idaho Falls for this weekend with guests coming in from out of town. They say it will go on as planned. 

Idaho Falls police are asking for anyone with any information or knows where the stolen property may be, to call their dispatch at 208-529-1200. Or you can call Crime Stoppers at 208-522-1983. 

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