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UPDATED: Vandals spray-paint hate messages on several homes, cars in Hastings, Minn.

HASTINGS, Minn. -- Authorities say vandals here spray-painted hate messages on at least six homes and several cars Thursday night.

Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell said the vandals painted swastikas, racially charged messages and messages praising Satan on the homes and cars.

"This is a serious crime that is and will continue to be aggressively investigated," Schnell said. "We want the person or persons responsible for these crimes identified, arrested and subjected to the full scrutiny of the criminal justice system."

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the police department at (651) 480-2300.

"This is a despicable act," Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks said in a news release. "In addition to the senseless damage to our residents' home and property, the messages of hate and bigotry are contrary to the values of this community."

The Hastings (Minn.) Star-Gazette is owned by Forum Communications Co.