Police arrest Smithfield man suspected of breaking into and vandalizing Logan Temple

Logan Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LOGAN — Police were called to the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints early Tuesday morning, after a 34-year-old Smithfield man allegedly broke into the building and vandalized it. They later located the suspect, Peter A. Ambrose, locked inside a room.

Logan City Police Capt. Curtis Hooley said officers received a call about the break-in around 3:30 a.m. The caller stated that there was a broken window on the east side of the temple and it appeared that someone had gotten inside.

Booking photo for Peter A. Ambrose (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

“The officers entered the building and took quite a few hours to try and make sure that the building was secure and that there was nobody inside,” explained Hooley. “They noted, there had been a fair amount of damage that had been done to different parts of the building itself and some of its contents.”

Evidence suggests, Ambrose had used an axe to smash some of the windows and walls inside the temple. He also had removed and damaged some of the paintings.

Hooley explained that as officers continued their investigation, they located Ambrose still inside.

“He had locked himself into a room that the officers were not able to get into initially. He was taken into custody for questioning.”

Church spokeswoman, Irene Caso said “Sometime early this morning (Tuesday), an individual used an axe to damage the exterior of the Logan Temple. He then broke into the temple, and caused damage to the first and second floors, before leaving.

“The temple is currently closed for the Christmas holiday. The damage will be addressed, and normal temple operations will resume on Thursday.”

Hooley said Ambrose is a longtime resident of the valley. He has allegedly had previous involvements with the church.

“He has been trespassed from the temple before and also some other buildings that belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some old buildings in our valley. It appears that he has some sort of issues with the church itself.”

Ambrose wasn’t located until around 7:30 a.m. on the main floor of the temple. After he was taken from the premise, workers immediately began replacing the broken windows and making repairs.

Officers booked Ambrose into the Cache County Jail on suspicion of felony burglary and criminal mischief. He is being held without bail.

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  • Jim December 24, 2019 at 12:18 pm Reply

    This isn’t the first temple vandalized and won’t be the last. It’s a shame that such a historic and spiritual edifice, and what it represents, has been attacked by the very person who needs faith and love the most. I only hope the suspect somehow will move on from the incident and enjoy a healthy and happy life.

  • David Birley December 24, 2019 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Looking for good, clean, relevant reporting.

  • NobodyKnowsMe December 25, 2019 at 1:14 am Reply

    Guess the church will have to start amping up security at the temples at night/days off (motion sensor cameras, 24H guards, etc) so people who are inclined to throw temper tantrums like a 5 year old and smash up other people’s things will be stopped.

  • angela December 25, 2019 at 4:01 am Reply

    Church, School, home, business, private or public property, any type of vandalism is sad, no matter where it its done.

  • Judith Ann McDonough December 25, 2019 at 4:13 am Reply

    Where were the Nephites?

    Just curious why the services will resume so soon and what the protocol is for something like this since the sanctity of the temple was breached. They don’t have to rededicate it? What happens now? Just business as usual? Never considered any of this before since I have never heard of or don’t remember anything like this happening before.

  • Bob Carpenter December 25, 2019 at 7:26 am Reply

    What a jerk!
    Yes, I know I’m not being Christlike, just honest.

  • Helen Mar Kimball December 25, 2019 at 9:03 am Reply

    But I thought God would not be mocked? Why would He allow this to happen?

    • Tom December 26, 2019 at 6:27 am Reply

      He allows us to make choices and receive the associated consequences. He is in jail. Meanwhile sincere publicity is being directed at the church. Looks like the mocking is not directed at God.

  • James DeLaigle December 25, 2019 at 9:15 am Reply

    Hate Crimes need to be charged as such and maybe they will think twice about damaging the Temples.

    • Jim DeLaigle May 27, 2020 at 9:24 pm Reply

      To clarify if you are going to have hate crime laws then apply them equally. I personally don’t know if I agree with hate crime laws, seems a crime is a crime.

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