3 teenagers detained for vandalizing public, private property with swastikas in San Dimas area

Three teenage boys ranging from 13 to 14 years old have been detained by Sheriff's deputies accused of burning swastikas into public and private property in San Dimas and unincorporated Covina earlier in the month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says a 14-year-old teen from Long Beach, a 13-year-old from Covina, and a 13-year-old teen from Hemet used cigarette lighters and flammable aerosol cans to burn swastikas into artificial turf and asphalt roadways.

Statements from witnesses and the boys themselves, evidence collected in the investigation, and video from security cameras linked the three boys to these crimes, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Authorities say they are working to determine a motive but at this time it doesn't seem the acts of hate, arson, and vandalism were directed at any particular person or persons.

The first swastikas were discovered on Friday, April 5, 2019, when a homeowner in the 1400 block of Greenhaven Street in San Dimas saw a crude swastika burned into the artificial turf of his front lawn, the Sheriff's Department said. That same day, deputies discovered similar swastikas burned on the surface of the asphalt roadway on Valley Center Street in unincorporated Covina.

On April 7, 2019, a similar swastika was found burned onto the asphalt street in the 1200 block of Stratford Lane in San Dimas. Investigators also learned of three small brush fires to the north of 801 W. Covina Boulevard in San Dimas and that a security camera there had been vandalized.

All three teenage suspects were taken to Los Angeles County juvenile hall and face potential charges of arson, hate crimes, and vandalism. The Sheriff's Department will present its findings of their investigation to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to call investigators at 909-450-2700. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call 800-222-8477.