Police arrest 2 juveniles in Santaquin LDS Church fire

Published: Saturday, Dec. 17 2011 4:59 p.m. MST

SANTAQUIN — Police have arrested two teenagers in connection with a fire that heavily damaged an LDS Church stake house in Santaquin.

Santaquin Police did not give the gender of the 16-year-old and 17-year-old who were arrested for investigation of burglary, theft and arson in the Dec. 14 blaze in a news release issued Saturday. The fire, near 200 East and 100 South, is believed to have caused between $1.5 million and $2 million in damage, police said.

The two juveniles told police they entered the building through a window before breaking into various offices in search of money. They ultimately admitted to taking $7 from one desk, the news release states.

Police did not identify the individuals who were arrested because they are minors.

The stake center was built in the 1940s and was one of the oldest churches in Santaquin. Part of the building had recently been renovated.

Police said the fire damaged the south wing of the church, where there were several classrooms, the Relief Society room and a bishop's office.

Santaquin police detective Stan Eggan said the motive is still unknown, but it is believed the juveniles were probably acting recklessly when the fire started in the ward clerk’s office. He said the blaze spread quickly from there.

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