SAN GABRIEL ( — Police need the public’s help to capture vandals who desecrated two graves at the San Gabriel Mission cemetery on South Mission Drive.

Surveillance video captured vandals who tried to pull down one statue and succeeded in breaking off the head and arms of another about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said. Investigators have not released the video.

Police say the vandal cut a length of hose from a faucet, then looped the hose around the arm of a statue and tried to pull it over. The vandal then turned to another statue, which was left headless and armless, police said.

“It makes me really sad people would come in and desecrate a sacred place,” said Helen Sanchez, whose parents and grandparents are buried at the San Gabriel Mission’s cemetery.

The cemetery is the final resting place for generations of Angelenos dating back to the mid-1800s.

The vandalism does not appear to be a hate crime, the Rev. Tony Diaz said.

“Usually with hate crimes, they leave some kind of message. In this situation, we don’t see anything like that, but nevertheless, the impact it has on the families here, it’s very personal,” he said.

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