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News Release

Monday, February 18, 2002

Media Relations

Church Hate Crime Suspect Arrested

Los Angeles: On Thursday, February 14, 2002, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Pacific Area officers arrested Shashank Akolkar for a series of church vandalisms in the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles and in the City of Culver City. Akolkar, a 26-year old former resident of Los Angeles, was recently staying at a homeless shelter in Culver City. Akolkar was the subject of a manhunt since February 11, 2002.

Akolkar will be charged in seven hate crime spray paint vandalisms, four in Los Angeles and three in Culver City. The series of crimes began in early February 2002. The total damage in all of the crimes amounted to several thousand dollars.

Motivation for the series of crimes was hatred/and or prejudice, specifically anti-religion and anti-race. At the time of this release, there is no reason to believe that Akolkar’s actions were related to the terrorist acts on September 11, 2001.

Akolkar was booked at Van Nuys Area Jail and he will be held on $270,000.00 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Tuesday, February 19, 2002.

For further information, contact Pacific Operations Support Division at 310-202-4506.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.



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