The San Gabriel Mission Church Cemetery was vandalized early Wednesday morning with criminals desecrating graves and smashing grave markers, according to the San Gabriel Police Department.
The damage is estimated to be $50,000, according to the church.
"This is a tragic and despicable incident, and whoever is responsible for this should be ashamed of their actions and brought to justice," San Gabriel Police Chief David A. Lawton said in a statement.
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The San Gabriel Police Department is "aggressively" investigating the incident.
In the night hours of Jan. 20, vandals entered the church cemetery located at 428 S. Mission Drive by apparently scaling the wall, according to Father Tony Diaz.
"When somebody enters a place that is sort of sacred and does this kind of vandalism, it saddens the family, because why would somebody do that?” Diaz said.
Two graves were "desecrated," a large granite statue of Jesus Christ was overturned, and then an additional marker was "smashed to pieces," according to a news release. A second attempt was apparently made to smash an additional tombstone.
The assailants tried to lasso a rubber hose around the statue's arm to try to bring it down, but it was too large and heavy. The vandals did however manage to break the cross off the tombstone.
The police told NBC4 that there is surveillance video that shows someone on the property, but it doesn’t show the actual act of vandalism.
The San Gabriel Police Department asked anyone with information on the vandalism to contact the department at 626-308-2828.