SALT LAKE CITY — Logan police have arrested a man who they say broke into the Logan Utah Temple early Tuesday.
The man was taken into custody following a search that took several hours, according to police.
The incident began just before 3:30 a.m. when police were called to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ temple in Logan on a report of a possible break-in, said Logan Police Capt. Curtis Hooley. Officers arrived to find the glass on one of the main entryway doors broken out, he said.
There was at least $5,000 damage inside the temple, according to a Cache County Jail booking affidavit.
“We entered the building and located multiple paintings torn off the wall and damaged, Multiple artificial plants damaged, some curtains torn down and damaged, an ax smashed through a mirror and stuck into the wall. The was also a fire extinguisher that was set off with the residue spread all over the floor and furniture. The fire extinguisher was found smashed into a vent on a door,” police wrote in their affidavit.
By 8:30 a.m., Peter Abraham Ambrose, 34, of Smithfield, was found hiding inside a locked room, he said. Police had initially cleared the scene after being unable to find Ambrose, but were called back when temple workers discovered him, the affidavit states.
Ambrose was taken to police headquarters to be interviewed where he told detectives he was upset because it was Christmas and he couldn’t see his children, and because he “can’t get any LDS girls to date him,” Hooley said he told police.
“He stated he used the ladder to climb over the fence. He used the ax to break into the temple and smashed it into a mirror and left it in the wall,” according to the affidavit.
Ambrose was then arrested for investigation of burglary and criminal mischief.
Police say they have had run-ins with Ambrose before, including last year when he was arrested for investigation of disorderly conduct at an Instacare.
According to court records, in 2016, Ambrose was convicted of criminal mischief for another incident that happened at the Logan temple. In that case, police say Ambrose was on temple grounds, outside the building, making threatening statements to others, and also stating he had nothing to lose.
In 2012, Ambrose was convicted of criminal mischief and domestic violence in the presence of a child. As part of his probation, he was ordered to undergo anger management treatment, according to court records.
He was also convicted of drug possession in 2006 and 2007.