Woman sought on suspicion of vandalizing Buddhist temple in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police want the public's help to find a woman who was caught on surveillance video vandalizing statues at a Buddhist Temple.

"Specifically taking out the hands and the fingers on the statues, which can't be replaced because they're solid marble," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Authorities said more than $25,000 of damage was done. After watching the video, police named a suspect of interest - Trang Pham. They've arrested her for targeting Buddhist temples in the past.

At one, video caught her throwing glass bottles on several occasions. At another, she stole three Buddha statues after serving time for the previous case.

"We know she lives out on the street, so we're reaching out to the community to see if we can get her located before this happens again," Bertagna said.

Pham was convicted and served time for the statue theft, too.

Police believe she may be at it again, looking to damage the expensive religious figures at a temple she's already targeted.

Investigators hope someone recognizes the woman and that they can help them protect the temples from any more damage.

"Those statues are important to their religion. They are important to the people in the community, and we want it to stop," Bertagna said.
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