By CBSLA Staff

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO (CBSLA) – A 244-year-old Spanish mission in Orange County that was already shuttered due to COVID-19 rules was found vandalized early Friday morning.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called about 6:30 a.m. Friday when the vandalism was discovered, according to spokesperson Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

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The graffiti included a spray-painted heart on the door with an asterisk and the
letters “LM” in the heart. The vandalism also included the numbers “95” and
the words, “best wishes.”

A statement posted to the Mission San Juan Capistrano Facebook page said graffiti was discovered on the doors of the Spanish mission founded in 1776 by Catholic missionaries.

(Photo via Facebook)

“We were so saddened to have to close our doors and cancel our holiday programming and this morning awoke to even more disappointing news when it was discovered someone decided to damage 244 years of history with vandalism”, the post said.

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Deputies were trying to determine the cryptic message was a prank, Braun said. The crime was done sometime between 4 p.m. Thursday and about 6:30 a.m. Friday, she said.

The mission is asking for donations “in any amount” to help pay for costs incurred during the temporary closure.

pistrano.

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“We were so saddened to have to close our doors and cancel our
holiday programming, and this morning awoke to even more disappointing news
when it was discovered someone decided to damage 244 years of history with
vandalism,” the mission said on its Facebook page.
“We need your help now more than ever,” the mission said as it
solicited donations to shore up increased costs of security and maintenance.