Woman arrested for vandalizing statues at several Buddhist temples in Santa Ana

- Santa Ana police arrested a woman accused of vandalizing Buddhist temples. The Orange County district attorney declaring it a hate crime and this may not be the first time she has done this.

Some statues had their arms smashed right off, others had fingers broken. 

Collection boxes and other items left as religious offerings were stolen. 

Authorities blame a Vietnamese woman from Garden Grove named Trang Thu Pham for vandalizing Buddhist temples in Santa Ana and Garden Grove. She's been arrested and booked on allegations of felony vandalism and hate crimes. 

Police tell me she was arrested on a Garden Grove street corner after someone called them who had seen the suspect in widely aired security camera footage on the news. 

What makes this bizarre is that authorities  tell us the very same woman has already been arrested, convicted, and served county jail time twice before for similar crimes in 2015 and 2016. 

What her particular complaints or issues are with these temples are unknown, as is her emotional or mental state. Religious and political leaders in Orange County were united in telling the community through an afternoon news conference at the Bao Quang Temple in Santa Ana that the crimes are both unacceptable and very serious, and urged any other victims of vandalism to come forward.  

Meantime they're wondering, and investigating whether anyone else is involved, as multiple incidents took place at at least seven different temples.


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