By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES, CA — Homophobic graffiti and serious property damage was found at a Van Nuys home on Tuesday January 3.  This crime has prompted the LAPD to issue a “Hate Crime” investigation.

According to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez, the vandalism was reported to authorities around 6 p.m. at a home located on the 7400 block of Vista Del Monte Avenue.  Sgt. Carl Taylor added that someone broke into the residence and sprayed anti-gay graffiti as well as kicking holes into walls and destroying water pipes. “The damage is pretty extensive” said Sgt. Taylor.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crime, they found the home’s door wide open. Police immediately secured the inside of the residence in which they discovered the damage.  At this time, police say it is unclear who lives at the home.

Officer Lopez, states that “No one was injured during the incident and at the time of this report, there are no suspects”, said Lopez.  The is alarming for the LGBT community as Los Angeles County has seen a rise in “Hate Crimes” targeting the Gays, Lesbians and Transgender people.

According to a report issued in September 2016 by the county’s Commission on Human Relations, hate crimes increased by 24% from 2014.  A total of 483 hate crimes were reported and out of those cases, 120 hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation.  For the LGBT community, that is a 11% increase from 2015.