Two Arcadia Church Buildings Vandalized
Date / Time of News Release: January 30, 2013 – 11:30 a.m.
Two Arcadia churches have been broken into and vandalized within the last two weeks. The first incident occurred overnight, Saturday to Sunday, January 19-20, 2013, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 400 West Duarte Road. The suspect(s) forced open a door to the church office, ransacked the interior, and threw clergy robes on the ground. A fire extinguisher was discharged in the office and the suspect(s) burned part of a portrait hanging on the office wall before making off with a guitar and other sound equipment.
Early this morning, shortly after 2:30 a.m., the police department received a 9-1-1 call from a passerby reporting suspicious activity at Holy Angeles Church, 330 Campus Drive. Arcadia Police and Fire units arrived on scene and discovered an administrative building on the church property had been broken into and there was smoke inside the building. Evidence of a small fire was found against an interior hallway wall, having burnt a small area of carpet and papers. It appears the suspect(s) broke an office window to gain entry. Once inside, two religious statues and a DVD player were broken and tossed to the ground inside a small chapel, and an interior officer door was kicked in. It appeared the suspect(s) also rummaged through several rooms inside the building.
These crimes are being investigated by Arcadia Police Detectives. Due to the similarities of the crimes and the proximity of the churches, it is our belief the crimes may be related and it is our desire to inform the community; and specifically, other area religious facilities to be on watch for similar or suspicious activity. Although neither crime involved entry to the church sanctuaries, both events involved religious artifacts or items and we are treating these as religious based hate crimes.
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact the Arcadia Police Department at (626) 574-5150. If you prefer to provide information ANONYMOUSLY, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the tip page at Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers, http://lacrimestoppers.org/
Robert T. Guthrie, Chief of Police
By: Tom Le Veque, Sergeant