Lake Highlands temple community to install security cameras, fence.
WASHINGTON, DC: A Hindu temple in Lake Highlands, Texas, was vandalized last week, and images that are sprayed on the temple walls suggest the involvement of the MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha, a violent outfit with Latino roots in Los Angeles, that is now considered one of the most notorious street gangs in the western hemisphere.
CBS reported that the temple in Lake Highlands is looking at increasing security after vandals covered it in graffiti, last Monday. The number 666 and an upside down cross now appear on the door of the North Texas Hindu Mandir.
WFAA reported sheds were tagged and walls splashed with spiteful messages.
M-S 13 was sprayed on one of the sheds. Dallas police sent out detectives with the gang unit who are still searching for suspects, reported WFAA.
“It makes me sad inside,” said Gracie Reed, 9, speaking to CBS. “To me, it’s really horrifying because I don’t know who would do this to a church.”
Krishna Singh, a member of the temple’s board, said the temple wants to add surveillance cameras, better lighting, and a fence to prevent this from happening again.
“The sentiment of the neighborhood is that we all find it appalling,” said Ted Hoffman, who lives across the street from the temple, to CBS. He said neighbors have offered to help paint over the symbols.
WFAA reported another neighbor in tears over the incident.
“The disrespect level is very high to me,” said Snorton as she wiped away tears while eyeing the damage.
The temple of 150 devotees started worshiping in the quiet Old Lake Highlands neighborhood in 2002, and this is the first case of vandalism.
This is the third such incident of a Hindu temple being vandalized in the US, this year. Earlier, two temples were vandalized in Washington state in February with words like “Get Out” and “Fear” scrawled on the temple walls.