21-year-old man and juvenile arrested for LDS church vandalism - East Idaho News

21-year-old man and juvenile arrested for LDS church vandalism

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POCATELLO — Two suspects were arrested late last week in connection to vandalism that occurred at a local church earlier in October.

Jakob Andrew McCormick, 21, was identified in court documents and charged with felony malicious injury to property. According to documents, he caused over $1,000 worth of damage. Pocatello Police confirmed with EastIdahoNews.com that the other suspect that was arrested was a male juvenile. His name is not being released since he is underage.

The Pocatello Police Department responded to reports of vandalism on Oct. 14. Officers found a smashed glass door and broken windows at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 135 South 7th Avenue.

A computer monitor appeared to have been punched. A rock had been thrown through a window, and a dozen roses were missing from the building, documents said.

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According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by the Pocatello Police Department, officers found drops of blood near the broken glass. No one was found in the building; however, blood was found throughout the building. Officers started to canvass a neighborhood after a blood trail was found that started on the northeast corner of 7th and East Lewis Street.

A Twisted Tea can was located in the 1000 block of East Lewis Street. This was significant to officers because they had found a backpack that was left near the scene that had Twisted Teas inside, according to documents. The blood trail ended at an area near Lewis Street where there were two more Twisted Tea cans.

An officer contacted a witness who said she overheard a conversation between two males that came out near East Lewis Street. She described one of them as having curly dirty blond hair. She heard them talking about “robbing” a bunch of places, and one of them asked the other if he had a backpack so they could go to Albertson’s and steal a bunch of items.

An officer found there were several reports that may have been related to the suspects in this case, that had been consuming Twisted Tea drinks. The related reports included young males that committed beer thefts of Twisted Tea from various stores. McCormick’s name had been mentioned in the beer theft reports.

An officer contacted a pastor from the nearby Mountain Valley Church, who told the officer that they had video of two males that attempted to get into the Baptist church and threw one of their pumpkins. The video shows two males leaving the church and walking westbound towards the LDS church on 7th and Lewis Street.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 135 South 7th Avenue in Pocatello on Oct.14. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

After investigating, officers traced the vandalism to McCormick and interviewed him. According to documents, he admitted to drinking heavily and stated that he only remembered some parts of that night. He confessed to breaking two of the windows at the LDS church on Oct. 14.

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and/ or a $1,000 fine. McCormick is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bannock County Courthouse.

Police said there is no evidence at this time that would lead investigators to believe the incident was a hate crime.