Case # 18CF2388
Date: August 24, 2018
*Defendant was out of custody after being convicted of vandalism of a religious property
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was charged today with vandalism and hate crimes against two Buddhist Temples in Orange County.
“An attack on one religion is an attack on all. We must stand up to bigotry and respect everyone’s right to worship,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Defendant: Trang Thu Pham, 49, Santa Ana
Charged today with the following felony counts:
- (4) Vandalism – damage $400 or more
- (4) Vandalism of religious property
- Sentencing Enhancements
- Hate crime
Vandalism, grand theft, and hate crime against the same Buddhist Temple in Santa Ana in 2017
Maximum Sentence: 12 years in state prison
Arraignment ion Aug. 24, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
- On July 5, 2017, Pham was sentenced to two years in county jail for committing grand theft and hate crime vandalism of religious property after stealing three gold statues from a Buddhist temple in Santa Ana. She was released with credit for time served.
- On Aug. 8, 2018, Aug. 14, 2018, and Aug 21, 2018, Pham is accused of vandalizing and damaging property at the Huong Tich Buddhist temple in Santa Ana by using a rock to break off the hands and fingers of a number of statues.
- On Aug. 21, 2018, the defendant is further accused of vandalizing and damaging the property at the Phuc Quana Buddhist temple in Garden Grove.
- Pham is accused of damaging this property due to the temples being Buddhist places of worship.
- The damage to all of the statues is estimated at approximately $100,000.
- The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) and Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) used surveillance footage from the temples to identify the suspect and arrested Pham on Aug. 22, 2018.
- SAPD and GGPD investigated this case.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit.