Juneau woman suspected of vandalizing four churches, one business Monday night

Published: Oct. 24, 2018 at 3:29 PM AKDT
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A Juneau woman has been arrested and is suspected of vandalizing four churches and a business in the Mendenhall Valley Monday night.

Juneau Police say 24-year-old Alesa Abbott was found inside the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church as officers checked churches in the area after two had been reported vandalized.

The first report came at 8:35 p.m. when someone was reported to be breaking windows at the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Glacier Highway. Officers found 21 damaged windows, and a hand-written note outside that seemed to be related to the vandalism. Damage at that church is estimated at $10,000. Officers saw a person on a bike riding away from the church when they first arrived, but the clothing description didn’t match what the caller had reported.

At 11:44 p.m., officers were called to a suspicious vehicle at the Juneau Church of Christ. When they got there, the vehicle was gone, but officers found two broken windows. Officers again saw a person on a bike leaving the area when they first arrived. That person looked like the one they’d seen at the LDS church.

At 12:55 a.m., Juneau officers were checking other churches in the Mendenhall Valley and found two broken windows at the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. A window was propped open and a bicycle was lying on the ground near the broken windows. Officers saw Abbott inside. Once they went in, Abbott reportedly yelled at them to take her to jail and shoved an officer. She had a backpack, crowbar, and a credit or debit card that belonged to the church’s pastor.

Abbott was arrested for burglary, theft and criminal mischief for the church she was found in and is a person of interest in the other vandalism cases.

The next morning, another business on the Glacier Highway, and the Juneau Christian Center both reported broken windows. A hand-written note was also found at the Christian Center that is similar to the one found in the vandalism at the LDS church.