Teenager in custody after arson and fire causes $600,000 in damage to 2 LDS churches in Orem

(Photo courtesy Utah County Jail) Jillian Robinson

An 18-year-old Lindon woman is in custody after an arson fire at an Orem meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints early Friday.

Jillian Robinson arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of arson, burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

According to a probable cause statement, smoke and flames were reported at a chapel at 1230 North and 950 West shortly before 1:50 a.m. When officers arrived, the discovered two exterior doors had been broken; “several fires had been set throughout” the building; and “Satan Lives” had been written by one of them “in a dark colored marker permanent felt tip."

Officers put out the fires using an extinguished from a patrol car, and police began checking other churches in the area. An officer saw a “suspicious invidual” at a second LDS church building at 828 W. 1600 North, but lost sight of that person. That meetinghouse also had “Satan Lives” written on the door; the entry control panel had been pried off; and the officer smelled the “strong odor of gasoline" by the door.

The two buildings suffered an estimated $600,000 in damage, according to police.

Robinson was located "a few blocks away” at 2:11 a.m.; her backpack contained a bottled that “smelled of gas,” a lighter, matches, a black sharpie marker, a screwdriver and a drill with drill bits.

According to an Orem Police Facebook post, Robinson’s backpack contained a bottle that smelled of gasoline, a lighter, a power drill and other items.

According to police, Robinson “denied any involvement in the cases and gave several different stories about what she had done” before agreeing to make a statement. According to the probable cause statement, she wrote that she started the fire because she was “angry and all I wanted to do was set a small fire and it got out of control.”

She added that she “felt like playing with fire because of my crazy life at home, this was not a hate crime."

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