Authorities Investigating After ‘Illegal’ Is Spray-Painted in Long Beach Neighborhood

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Long Beach police are investigating after vandals spray-painted graffiti with the word "illegal" on multiple cars, a day care center and a church, local residents said.

Joe Solis, who has lived in Belmont Heights neighborhood for 13 years, discovered "illegal" spray-painted on his yellow 1971 Volkswagen van on Sunday.

"I've never had that done to me. I've never felt that feeling before, you know, when someone says it's like a hate crime of some sort," said Solis. "It's sad to see that someone might be picking me out or thinking I'm an illegal immigrant. I was born and raised here. My mom was, you know, like five generations."

Solis said he's Jewish and of Mexican ancestry.

Neighbors told KTLA that the vandals also tagged another car, a day care center and a church on East Third Street near Redondo Avenue.

"It's frightening. It's scary because you don't know who these people are, you don't know what they're after, you don't know if they've been canvassing the neighborhood or watching people," said Caron Lowe, a neighbor.

Police are investigating the vandalism as a possible hate crime, according to the neighbors. Solis said he was able to get the graffiti removed from his van free of charge.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Long Beach Police Department at 562-570-7260.