Woman caught on video vandalizing Buddhist temple in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police are asking for the public's help to identify a woman suspected of vandalizing four religious statues outside a Buddhist temple.

The female suspect has been caught on surveillance video three times, and is believed to be responsible for several more incidents.

In the video, she is seen throwing a bottle of alcohol at a statue of Buddha outside the Huong Tich Temple.

"I've never seen her before, said Dr. Alice Nguyen.

Nguyen says the suspect has vandalized four religious statues outside the temple, usually by throwing glass jars or bottles, at least 10 different times. The suspect was caught on video three times since last month.

According to members of the temple, most of the acts of vandalism have occurred during daylight hours between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Nguyen says she has no idea why someone would commit such a crime at a place where people come to pray for peace and happiness.

"Everyday we're chanting and praying everyone live in peace, that's all," Nguyen said.

Santa Ana police say they're also trying to determine the suspect's motive to see if it's a hate crime.

"Why is she doing this? Is this because she has a hatred for the religion or hatred for the religious statues? Or is this some other type of issue?" said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The female suspect was described as an Asian woman, between 25 and 40 years old, weighing between 115 and 130 pounds, and standing between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 5 inches tall.

Anyone with any information was urged to contact OC Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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