Stace Hall, For the Deseret News
Weekend vandals caused extensive damage to a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedar City. The damage was still visible Monday, July 2, 2012.
There's quite a bit of damage to the inside of the church. —Cedar City Police Sgt. Jimmy Roden

CEDAR CITY — Police were looking Monday for the person or people responsible for extensively vandalizing an LDS meetinghouse over the weekend.

"There's quite a bit of damage to the inside of the church," said Cedar City Police Sgt. Jimmy Roden.

Police estimated vandals caused "tens of thousands of dollars" in damage by spray painting the walls and pictures hanging on the walls in the church at 2015 N. Wedgewood Lane.

Some of the spray painting included profanity while some of it appeared to just be random marks.  The chapel area was the most heavily damaged.

In addition, the vandals used items found in the church — including markers, crayons and cooking items from the kitchen — to vandalize the building, Roden said.

Syrup was reportedly poured down the organ and piano and pancake batter was found all over the hallway rug.

The vandalism was believed to have occurred in the early evening hours on Saturday during only a four- or five-hour window. Roden said detectives were "still working" Monday to determine how the vandals were able to enter the church.

Services for three wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were moved to a different building Sunday and the church building was also expected to be closed this coming Sunday as the cleanup continues.

Roden said investigators couldn't say Monday one way or the other whether the vandalism was the result of a hate crime.

"We certainly wouldn't rule it in or out," he said.

Roden said some physical evidence was collected at the scene, but he declined to  disclose what was found.

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