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L.A., Santa Monica police investigating swastika graffiti

October 18, 2011 |  2:40 pm

More than a dozen red swastikas were spray-painted on buildings in Santa Monica and Brentwood this weekend, and authorities say they are investigating the matter as a hate crime.

Residents began reporting the appearance of the graffiti on Saturday, when they were discovered on street signs and the walls of homes, businesses and parking structures in affluent neighborhoods. 

The targeted neighborhoods included the area north of Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, and the area around  Brentwood Magnet School in Los Angeles.

"We have a few [such] incidents every year but usually a low number," said Sgt. Richard Lewis, a spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department.

Graffiti-removal teams cleaned the structures and signs.

"It is shocking to have our tranquil community invaded in this manner," said Nancy Freedman, chairwoman of the Brentwood Community Council, in a notice to residents.

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-- Martha Groves 

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