CARMICHAEL, CA – Members of the Our Lady of Assumption Catholic church arrived for Sunday services to learn that someone had been there before them. Vandals had left vulgar and sacrilegious graffiti tags across several outdoor walls.
"This really ranks up there as a hate crime," said Paul Watts, owner of Graffiti Removal Services. Watts was called to clean the extensive mess after the morning church service let out.
"All the walls are tagged on one side," said Watts. "(There are) swastikas on the fences, on the windows. (The vandals) took no mercy."
"I'm saddened, disappointed, I have to say a little disgusted, too, by the scope of it," said Robert Love, principal of the Our Lady of Assumption Catholic school. "It's just really sad, because we have a great community here. The parish and school community are wonderful. They don't deserve to see their church vandalized like this."
Love says it is at least the third time the church has been vandalized in the last two years.
His church community did not wait long to start the cleanup effort. Members of the congregation went to work after Sunday service with their own paint brushes, covering portions of the graffiti. When they realized they wouldn't be able to do quickly enough on their own, they called Watts.
Within two hours, all signs of graffiti were covered up.
"The (vandals) don't have any clue that, as fast as they can put it up, we can take it down," said Watts. "It's just a never-ending battle."
Watts did the roughly $2,500 project for free, as part of his company's community outreach program. As for the crime, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department wants to hear from you if you have any information on the incident.
Call them at 916-874-5115 if you have information you believe could be helpful in catching the graffiti taggers.
Category: Church Security