The New York City Police Department's hate crimes unit is investigating after two religious statues were defaced in Brooklyn.
Parishioners of St. Anselm's Roman Catholic Church on Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge discovered an "X" on the neck of the Virgin Mary statue in its prayer garden.
They also saw a similar marking on the side of the Jesus on the Cross nearby.
Msgr. Jack Maloney, the pastor of St. Anselm's Roman Catholic Church, said the vandal struck around 1 a.m.
He said the defaced statues have shaken the spirits of some of the parishioners.
"For people of faith, these places are sources of solace and comfort in a world that is sometimes very hard to deal with," Maloney said. "And to have that taken away from them, to think that a crime could be committed right here, it's just upsetting."
A $1,250 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.