Vandals damage church Nativity in Sayville

Posted: Updated:
SAYVILLE -

Vandals damaged a church Nativity scene on the front lawn of St. Lawrence the Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Sayville, police say.

Church officials say a parishioner discovered the damage early Friday morning.

After police gathered evidence, the church removed the figurines. Pictures show some of the statues knocked down and at least one of them beheaded.

Father Brian Ingram says he's not sure if the vandalism was a result of hatred against the church or a mischievous prank.

"It's very, very hurtful to see them...callously destroying our property," he says. "These figures are symbolic of what we believe to have been one of the defining moments in all of history."

Church officials say this is the third time in recent years that the Nativity scene has been vandalized.

Detectives are investigating the latest incident as a possible hate crime.

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