A Cache Valley man arrested by police at the Latter-day Saint Logan Temple after a Christmas Eve break-in has been charged with burglary and criminal mischief.
The Logan City Police Department states in a press release that Peter Ambrose, 34, was taken into custody at the temple more than five hours after a responsible party for the temple called police at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday to report broken glass in the east doors of the temple annex.
An officer responded and determined that the temple had been entered and damage had been done on three floors, LCPD states.
“Several paintings were damaged, pulled from the wall, a fire extinguisher had been set off, a few doors were also damaged,” the release states.
Latter-day Saint spokesperson Irene Caso said an axe was used to damage the exterior of the building.
“The temple is currently closed for the Christmas holiday,” Caso said in a statement. “The damage will be addressed, and normal temple operations will resume on Thursday.”
At about 8 a.m. officers believed the building to be secure and cleared the scene. About half an hour later, the responsible party at the temple called police again to report that they believed someone was locked in a room of the temple. Officers responded, found Ambrose and took him into custody.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Ambrose used an A-frame ladder get over the fence and used the axe enter the building — police found the “axe smashed through a mirror and stuck into the wall.”
He allegedly also damaged artificial plants and curtains. The estimated amount of damage, according to the affidavit, was $5,000.
The affidavit states he began talking unprovoked at the scene. In an interview with police, “Ambrose cooperated with detectives and stated he was upset because it was Christmas and he couldn’t see his children and no LDS girls would date him,” the press release states.
Ambrose was booked into the Cache County Jail and has been charged with one count of burglary, a third-degree felony, and criminal mischief, a second-degree felony.
Temples are considered sacred by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once dedicated, only members who pass worthiness interviews are allowed inside.