MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Manitou Springs on Thursday announced the arrest of Landon Wayne Johnston in connection with vandalism at a cemetery in the historic town. In late May, vandals damaged 50 monuments and gravesites at the Crystal Valley Cemetery. Johnston was arrested more than 5 weeks later after police say someone provided a tip to investigators.
Johnston faces charges of criminal mischief, defacing property and second degree criminal tampering in connection with the May 26 crime.
Authorities suspect Johnston was not the only person responsible for the damage. They waited several weeks to announce his arrest on July 2 because they had to “had to follow up on certain leads before they wanted to make that information public,” according to a spokesperson for the Manitou Springs Police Department.
In addition to knocking over tombstones and toppling monuments in the cemetery, the criminals left behind a small burn area and large amounts of trash.
Interim Chief of Police Bill Otto said his department is pleased to have made an arrest in the case.
“The Crystal Valley Cemetery is a historic point of interest in our community, and it pains us to see the damage done to the sacred property,” Otto said.
Anyone who has information about the investigation, which remains ongoing, is asked to contact the police department at (719) 685-5407.