HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Two nativity scenes were vandalized overnight in Huntington Beach, according to officials.READ MORE: Black Friday Safety: More 'Smash-And-Grab' Robberies Prompt Increase In Mall Security, Pleas To Be Aware While Shopping
Jeff Nguyen, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, spoke to a homeowner whose nativity scene was vandalized.
Richard Candlish told Nguyen his holiday decorations give him a sense of pride. But this morning he felt a sense of vulnerability after someone degraded his decorations.
Someone scrawled “HAIL Hitler” on his baby Jesus as well as drawing a Hitler-style mustache. “They misspelled HEIL. It really goes to the ignorance of the people who did it,” says Candlish.
The same Hitler comment was spray painted on one of the three wise men.
And just down the street, similar graffiti — including swastikas — was also found this morning scrawled on a nativity scene outside St. Bonaventure Church.READ MORE: Towering Musical Theater Master Stephen Sondheim Dies At 91
Police say they’re investigating this as a possible hate crime.
Dani Degrood, a church parishioner said, “It’s sad to think that somebody would do it because they hate St. Bonaventure. Or they didn’t like Catholics. I mean it’s just sad. Then you have to wonder why else would they do it.”
Parishioners told Nguyen the nativity display is meant to bring the community together during the holiday season.
Added Degrood ,”I thought it was horrible. We put out a really nice display for the community. And our parish community. And it’s really sad for someone to take it upon themselves to wreck it for everyone.”
And Richard Candlish says his decorations are meant to bring smiles to the kids in his neighborhood. “Unfortunately, I had several children come by and their parents had to take them away.”MORE NEWS: Jackson Scores 21 Points, Clippers Beat Pistons 107-96
No suspects have been identified.