GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (CBS13) — Outraged veterans are weighing their options in tracking down a repeat vandal who sprayed a swastika on a memorial honoring fallen heroes in World War I.
The Grass Valley American Legion said they will raise money for security cameras after the monument in the Grass Valley Memorial Park was spray-painted Tuesday with the Nazi symbol and an insult toward police officers.
It was the fourth time vandals scrawled a swastika on the war memorial in recent months.
Some locals are so fed up, they’re on a mission to raise money to catch the criminals in the act.
“It’s very sacred to us. We are very upset,” said veteran Bernie Bachli, who has now started coming out in the middle of the night to watch over the monument. She showed CBS13 where symbols of hate were scrawled on the memorial for the fourth time last week.
“They basically tell the police department to go to hell,” she said.
The memorial also sustains constant damage to it from skateboarders.
The cost of repairing tiles and covering up spray paint has become a huge expense for the Grass Valley American Legion.
“My dad’s a member of the VFW, so I have a hard time dealing with it myself. I respect it,” said Don Lewis, a Grass Valley resident.
If the vandals are caught on camera, Bachli said she would personally like to track them down.
“I’d like to grab them by the ears and just tell them what exactly this is all about,” she said. “They need to teach them in school what World War II was, Korea, Vietnam. These kids don’t know.”
Grass Valley police are investigating the incidents and said the latest makes it a hate crime because of the swastika.
Legion members are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the Grass Valley Police Department.