Police are looking for a vandal that beheaded a statue of the Virgin Mary over the weekend, and investigators have labeled the incident a hate crime.
The statue, which sits behind the church near a Little League field in Port Jefferson Station, was vandalized between March 16th and March 18th, according to Suffolk County Police.
CBS Local New York reports that the statue was vandalized at the Church of Saint Majella, and that police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
The vandalism of the Virgin Mary comes just one week after vandals smashed in the face of a life-size statue of Jesus outside the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island in Manorville on March 11.
Sunday morning visitors to the 20-year-old statue, which depicts Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest, found the statue damaged, said the Rev. Roy Tvrdik, director of the shrine.
Newsday reported that a Suffolk police spokeswoman said the department’s Hate Crime Unit is also investigating that incident.
— Suffolk County News (@SuffolkLINews) March 19, 2018
Statue of Virgin Mary found with head and hand cut off. @SCPDHq investigating as hate crime. This discovery comes in the wake of a Jesus statue being vandalized in Manorville earlier this month. I’ll have more @FiOS1News_LI pic.twitter.com/20UepRSeJU
— Ron Lee (@RonLeeReporting) March 19, 2018
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 19, 2018
— World-Wide News (@kencampbell66) March 19, 2018