On Sunday, March 4th at approximately 8:30 AM, Idaho Falls Police were called to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, investigate a serious case of vandalism and grand theft. The incident is presumed to have occurred sometime late Saturday or early Sunday morning.
In addition to the damage to property, police estimate approximately $10,000 - $12,000 of property was stolen from the church. The vandals damaged several religious items. Six internal windows were broken and one outside window was also broken.
Detectives have been working diligently to gather and process evidence. Police do have leads on a possible person or person(s) of interest, but they are seeking the help of the public to obtain more information.
The items stolen from the church are very unique, some of which include:
- A baptismal candle and stand (also called a paschal candle) with blue ribbons on it, which is between 3-4 feet tall;
- Communion trays (silver), which are used to serve communion to the congregation;
- A brass cross, approximately one foot tall;
- Fabric banners, known as liturgical paraments, which are used to adorn lecterns and altars;
The banners were purple, to represent the Lent season and had religious designs on them.
- Professional audio equipment valued at approximately $8,000-$10,000.
If anyone has information about who may be responsible for this crime, knowledge of where any of the stolen property may be, or if anyone discovers someone attempting to sell these types of items, police urge the public to immediately call Idaho Falls Public Safety Dispatch at 208-529-1200 or call Crime Stoppers at 208-522-1983.