WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) --A vandal remained at large Monday after surveillance cameras recorded him spray-painting religious sculptures at a church in West Covina.
The incident took place shortly before 4 a.m. Saturday at St. Christopher Catholic Church, located at 629 Glendora Avenue.
The footage shows the suspect, wearing a dark hoodie and a ski mask, as he approaches a statue and spray-paints the slogan "Bow Down to Jehova." The vandal tagged three sculptures on the property.
"The whole entire congregation is saddened by this incident. This never happened before," the parish priest, Father Joseph Dass, said in an interview. "But we still pray for this person who did that, for this conversion of heart."
After learning of what had occurred at the house of worship, parishioner George Rodriguez said he felt "awful and upset because ... I don't know. It's hard to explain."
A spokesman for the West Covina Police Department said the incident was being investigated as a hate crime.
"The slogans that were used - many of the verses from the Bible - made reference to some situations that suggested to the police department, because of the definition of a hate crime, that we're going to investigate it as such."
Anyone with information about the matter is asked to call West Covina police at (626) 939-8500.