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Long IslandCrime

St. Jude Candle Shrine, Mastic Beach, vandalized, cops say

Suffolk County police asking the public to help

Suffolk County police asking the public to help find out who vandalized the St. Jude Candle Shrine on Dec. 15, 2015, in Mastic Beach. Credit: SCPD

Hate crimes detectives want to know who vandalized church property earlier this week in Mastic Beach, damaging displays and statues before fleeing the scene.

And Suffolk County police said they are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest of the vandal — or vandals — responsible.

The vandalism occurred at the St. Jude Candle Shrine at the corner of Neighborhood Road and Hemlock Drive about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police said a “person or people” broke into the shrine, damaging the glass displays and statues.

“An unknown person threw an object through the glass doors,” Suffolk Deputy Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Thursday. “It’s being investigated as a criminal incident.”

Candles were damaged and it appears the Mary and Joseph statues were moved. Sini said nothing was taken.

Photos of the damaged property were released Wednesday.

Police have not said whether there is surveillance footage and have not identified any suspects. Police are asking anyone with information about the vandalism to call Hate Crimes Unit detectives at 631-852-6323 or Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.

With Tania Lopez

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