Los Angeles

Caught on Camera: Vandal Goes on Swastika Tagging Spree

A man in a baseball cap and hoodie is seen painting a swastika on a wall, while a neighbor said he's sprayed over as many as 18 swastikas

A vandal has been spray painting swastikas and hateful messages on buildings in downtown Los Angeles and residents are hoping surveillance video can help catch him.

Humboldt Farmacy Dispensary reached out to NBC4 with surveillance footage from Tuesday night that shows a man, wearing a baseball cap and a hoodie, walking up to a wall of the building in the 2400 block of Hunter Street and spray-painting a swastika on it.

"We're all minorities here, and so it just sucks," said Daniel Sung, the dispensary's manager. "It's pretty discouraging to think that an area like this that's up and coming, getting a lot nicer, that people want to go around and promote symbols of hate."

The dispensary wasn't the only target of the vandal — neighbors said swastikas were painted on every building in the area. 

Aaron Moreno, who lives down the street from the dispensary, said he's been vandalized twice in the past week. He used his own spray paint cans to paint over as many as 18 swastikas and other messages, such as one that simply said "Hitler." He said he found another swastika days after he tried covering them up.

"The effects of the symbols are longer lasting," Moreno said.

Sung said he's filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department. He and Moreno believe the vandalism isn't aimed at anyone specific on their block.

"The (vandal's) intent is to use that symbol in order to inflict some amount of psychological and emotional harm on other people," Moreno said.

Police said Friday they received a report of the vandalism and were investigating.

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