Arrest made in Utah church arson fires

| October 31, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Utah police have arrested a man they say has taken responsibility for setting two church fires that caused about $1 million in damage.

South Salt Lake City police detective Gary Keller said Patrick Ehat, 26, of Salt Lake City, was taken into custody Sunday morning, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"He did take responsibility for the church fires," Keller said. "We haven't established a motive at this time. It's still under investigation. We're just glad we have this person off the street and people can feel safe in their communities."

Firefighters Saturday were called out to two fires at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouses. The chapel at the first church was destroyed, but damage at the second church was minimal caused mostly by smoke and water, the newspaper said.

Police say when Ehat was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief he had sustained injuries consistent with climbing through a broken window.

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Category: Church Security