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LA police investigate fire, vandalism at Japanese Buddhist temple

Los Angeles – Authorities are investigating vandalism and fires at a Buddhist temple in the Little Tokyo section of downtown Los Angeles.

In a surveillance video, Thursday night, he jumped over a security fence at Higashi Honganji Temple, smashed a 12-foot-high glass window with rocks, pulled a metal lantern out of a concrete base, and lit two wooden lantern stands. I took a picture of a man. The temple priest told the Los Angeles Times.

“Your first feeling is disappointment and sadness when you see what happened,” said Rev. Noriaki Ito. “I don’t know the motive, but it seems to have been targeted. The only relief I found was that no one was injured.”

The incident is happening in the midst of an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it tracked 245 reports of coronavirus-related discrimination against Asians in Los Angeles County between March and December last year. They included verbal harassment, physical assault, or denial of service at work.

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Los Angeles Police Department Captain Stacey Spell said it was too early to classify Thursday’s vandalism as a hate crime because the investigation was in its infancy.

Mr. Ito said vandalism has been part of a nasty pattern of security breaches in the 11/2 acre sanctuary of the last two weeks.

They said they had attacked the man on February 18, when the couple broke into the premises and were told to leave by the guards.

On Tuesday, another unidentified person sneaked into the property while the truck was delivering and stole an unmanned iPhone from a temple gardener.

“This will lead to a change of 24-hour security, at least on weekdays,” said Ito, who has been with us since the temple was founded. “We’ve been here for 45 years and this never happened.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

LA police investigate fire, vandalism at Japanese Buddhist temple

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