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Two South L.A. churches vandalized; reward offered for information

March 23, 2009 | 11:49 am

Authorities today announced a $10,000 reward for help in identifying those responsible for two apparently connected vandalism incidents at churches in South Los Angeles.

The first incident was at the St. Mark United Methodist Church at 8305 South Gramercy Place, where police said someone "severely vandalized" and burglarized the church on Feb. 8.

Police said one of the church's stained-glass windows was shattered, a drum set was stolen, fire extinguishers were sprayed inside the church and obscenities were spray-painted across several walls and the cross. They estimated the damage at more than $21,000.

About a month later, the Church of Scientology Community Center at 8039 South Vermont Ave. "was vandalized with hate messages as well as other graffiti," police said.

Police believe the two incidents may be related and said  Los Angeles officials were sponsoring the $10,000 reward, said Los Angeles police  Officer Ana Aguirre.

Anyone with information can contact the case detectives at (213) 485-4175 or can call (877) LAPD-24-7.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz