Vandalism at California Mormon Church Investigated as Hate Crime

January 18, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 18, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "a late-night rampage through a Mormon church in Moorpark [CA] is being investigated as a hate crime after someone scrawled graffiti on the pulpit, set fire to a scripture book and desecrated a painting depicting the Second Coming of Jesus Christ... Leaders of the 350-member congregation known as the 1st Ward, across the street from Moorpark College, said they were 'distressed and confused' by the incident, the first vandalism of any kind at the 15-year-old building... Sheriff's investigators are still searching for a suspect in a June incident at the Islamic Center of Conejo Valley. Crudely worded messages criticizing Islam were scrawled on the mosque's walls in red ink and spray paint... Cmdr. Keith Parks, who oversees the sheriff's station in Thousand Oaks, said the two incidents are classic examples of an attempt to 'intimidate, scare and prevent people from worshiping the way they want.'"