Police are looking for the woman who destroyed two religious statues outside of Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Forest Hills early Saturday morning.
The statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese the Little Flower had been standing in front of the church at 70-01 Kessel Street since the house of worship opened in 1937, according to a statement issued by the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“Both of these statues have stood in front of the church since it was built,” said the Rev. Frank Schwarz, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy. “It is heartbreaking, but sadly it is becoming more and more common these days. I pray that this recent rash of attacks against Catholic churches and all houses of worship will end, and religious tolerance may become more a part of our society.”
The woman is believed to be the same person who toppled the statues on Wednesday, July 14, but did not damage them.
According to the NYPD’s 112th Precinct, Saturday’s crime took place at about 3:30 a.m. when the woman pulled the statues from their pedestals and smashed then to the ground, causing them to break.
Published reports state it could cost $12,000 to replace them.
A surveillance video, which can be viewed at qchron.com, shows the woman dragging the statues into the street where they were slammed to the pavement, stomped and struck with a hammer.
The woman is described by police as being in her mid-20s with a medium complexion, average build and wearing all black clothing.
The New York City Police Department Hate Crimes Unit and the 112th Precinct are investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS (8477), or, for Spanish, 1 (888) 57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577, or by going to @nypdtips on Twitter.
All tips are strictly confidential.