Vandals spray-paint Hawthorne mosques, leave fake grenade on property

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- Two mosques in Hawthorne were vandalized and police said both incidents are being investigated as hate crimes.

Hawthorne police received a call at about 6:30 a.m. on Sunday about vandalism and a possible explosive device in front of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque in the 13000 block of Prairie Avenue.

Responding officers found a device that looked like a hand grenade in the driveway, along with white graffiti sprayed on the fence reading, "Jesus."

The immediate area was temporarily evacuated as a bomb squad investigated. The object was determined to be a replica of a hand grenade.

Also on Sunday, Hawthorne police received a call of vandalism at another mosque, the Islamic Center of Hawthorne in the 12200 block of South Hawthorne Way.

The front of the building was spray-painted with the phrase, "Jesus is the way."

The FBI is working with Hawthorne police to investigate both incidents, which are being classified as hate crimes.

If you have any relevant information, you're urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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