Vandals Cause $21,000 in Damage to Church

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles police said Wednesday that damage to a vandalized South Los Angeles church totaled more than $21,000 and asked for the public's help in tracking down the vandals.

The vandalism was discovered Sunday morning at St. Mark's United Methodist Church at 8305 S. Gramercy Place.

Graffiti was sprayed in the sanctuary and three other rooms, including a food bank, and a  stained glass window in the sanctuary was broken for the vandals to gain entry, according to Pastor Eugenio Raphael.

The intruders also spray-painted male genitalia near the altar, took a set of drums from the sanctuary, vandalized classrooms and looted the food bank, the pastor said.

He said earlier this week that the vandals did not appear to have any obvious message, "other than to mess things up so we could not worship there."

Anyone who has information on the vandalism was asked to contact Detectives Ross Nemeroff or Jorge Trejo of the 77th Street Division burglary section at 213-485-4175.

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