Vandalism committed against a Fort Dodge family is being investigated as a hate crime after police found racist language spray-painted on a mobile home Thursday afternoon.
Dark-colored graffiti, which included racial epithets, was found on a mobile home at 214 Second St. N.W.
Officers were called to investigate the crime at 2:29 p.m. Thursday afternoon, according to a press release from Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody.
Carmody said the family who lives in the mobile home is black, and he described the vandalism as including "graphic statements."
Police are not revealing what the statements were at this time, but Carmody said because of the language, they are treating the investigation as a hate crime.
"Incidents like this are heartbreaking for victims, our community and our department," Carmody said. "They are also a strong reminder that we must stand together as a community to prevent, investigate and prosecute crimes and criminals."
Though officers responded to the scene Thursday afternoon, Carmody said it appears the vandalism was committed between midnight at 6:30 that morning.
He said investigators could have gotten the case earlier if it had been reported to them when it initially happened.
"This is also a grim reminder of why it is so important for community members to report suspicious activity as soon as they observe it," he said. "Allow your public safety partners to decide how to most effectively respond."
Carmody said the department is confident that people in the community know what happened.
"(They) can help us bring justice and closure to the victim and his family," he said.
Carmody encouraged anybody with information on the hate crime to contact the Fort Dodge Police Department at 573-1426 or Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tipsters can also text their information to investigators by sending "LEC" and the tip to 274637.