Police seek public's help in finding church vandals
A reward is being offered by Hastings police for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for spray-painting graffiti on the side of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Hastings last week.
On Saturday, May 11, officers were called on the reports of the graffiti. Someone spray-painted five-pointed stars on the church building and a window, along with upside down crosses. In addition, a sign about the church's stance on abortion issues was defaced.
"The thoughtless damage of others property is always an investigative priority, but when these crimes target individuals or institutions because of religion, race, or other such classifications we must redouble our efforts," said Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell. "In these crimes, we especially want to understand the motivations of those involved.
"It's bad enough to have graffiti on park equipment, but when you have this type of graffiti on a religious facility, you start to question those motives. Is it driving by some people with a religious motive? Those things could become game-changers. You could be dealing with someone who has some type of axe to grind."
The reward is up to $1,000.
Anyone with information as to the identity and/or whereabouts of the person(s) responsible is asked to call the Hastings Police Department at 651-480-2300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- 8477. Tips can be made online at www.crimestoppersmn.org. Anonymous tips can also be sent by text message. Simply text the keyword HASTINGS and your tip to Tip411 (847411).