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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Reward offered in church vandalism

March 24, 2009|Ari B. Bloomekatz

Authorities announced a $10,000 reward Monday for help in identifying those responsible for two incidents of vandalism at churches in South Los Angeles.

Police said St. Mark United Methodist Church at 8305 S. Gramercy Place was "severely vandalized" and burglarized on Feb. 8. Stained-glass windows were shattered, a drum set was stolen, fire extinguishers were discharged inside the church and obscenities were spray-painted across several walls and a cross. Damage was estimated at more than $21,000.

About a month later, the Church of Scientology Community Center at 8039 S. Vermont Ave. "was vandalized with hate messages as well as other graffiti," police said.

Police believe the two incidents may be related, said Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Ana Aguirre.

Anyone with information is asked to call case detectives at (213) 485-4175 or can call (877) LAPD-24-7.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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