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VERONA, N.J. (AP) — Police are investigating vandalism to three statues outside a New Jersey church as a possible bias crime. reports that a statue of Jesus on a cross outside Our Lady of the Lake Church in Verona had its feet smashed off.

Acting police chief Christopher Kiernan said a statue of Mary had damage to the face and feet, and a statue of Saint John had hands broken off and damage to the feet.

The vandalism to the five-foot-tall statues was reported last weekend but Kiernan said it may have been inflicted in February and gone unnoticed due to the weather.

He said offenses targeting religious symbols or artifacts “will be investigated keenly and with vigor.”

Archdiocese of Newark spokesman Jim Goodness says the statues were repaired after vandalism in 2012.


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