PALM DESERT (CBS) — Sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday were looking for whoever was behind a pair of swastikas that were dug into the lawn of a senior center in Palm Desert.

An anonymous tipster reported the crime at 73750 Catalina Way about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Brooker said.

“Officers discovered that someone dug two swastikas into the grass along the east perimeter of the parking lot,” he said.

Palm Desert sheriff’s detectives are investigating the incident as a hate crime, he said.

“We take those crimes very seriously,” Deputy Angel Ramos said. “It can start as that and escalate to something else.”

Established in 1981, the center is home to over 3,900 seniors between the ages of 50 to 105 from Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert.

Anyone with more information about the vandalism was asked to call deputies at (760) 836-1600 regarding case number T11 319 0053, or call Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-7867.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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