Vandals tear through LDS stake center in Mt. Pleasant
MT. PLEASANT— The Mt. Pleasant Police Department is investigating whether there might be a tie between runaways from a local group home and serious vandalism at the Mt. Pleasant North LDS Stake Center.
According to Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Jim Wilberg, a member of the stake reported the vandalism on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
The vandals appeared to have started at one end of the building and progressed to the other side, destroying property all along the way. Among other things, the vandals broke kitchen dishes, urinated on the floor, tore down pictures, and damaged items in the Primary room.
“It’s really sad to see,” Mt. Pleasant LDS Stake President Michael Ricks says. “Among other things, we feel a sense of frustration.”
Wilberg said that while officers have some suspects, they don’t have enough evidence to make arrests yet.
Around the time of the incident, other crimes were reported in Mt. Pleasant area, including a stolen car and a few home break-ins, Wilberg says.
Meanwhile, a group home in the Mt. Pleasant area reported that several of its boys left the home without permission in about the same time frame as the break-ins and stake center vandalism.
Local LDS leaders are being encouraged to take safety of their buildings seriously. First and foremost, bishops are encouraged to make sure that church doors are locked when not in use.
Since the event, most of the damage caused has been repaired. Some things remaining to be fixed are a curtain in the Cultural Hall along with the doors of the table storage vaults. Evidently, vandals pulled out one of the rolling carts for church tables and rammed it into the curtain, damaging it.
“It saddens me,” Ricks says, “but my concern is more for those who did it and their state of mind. Hopefully, they can overcome their issues.”
Services are being held as normal at the building.