CONCORD (KRON) — As anti-immigrant rhetoric heats up across the nation, the number of hate crimes is also on the upswing across America.
In the Bay Area, a homeless woman has been arrested for a hate crime, accused of vandalizing several businesses with anti-Muslim graffiti.
Omid Karbasi owns the International Market & Grill on Treat Boulevard in Concord.
Tuesday he arrived at work to find anti-Muslim graffiti written on his business and several other in Treat Plaza shopping center.
“It says ‘Muslim go away, go to hell,’ there are four or five different ones,” Karbasi said.
Karbasi has owned this store since December and says he has never encountered this type of thing before, but it’s not a good feeling
“You don’t feel safe, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Police located security video of the crime in progress and several officers in the department were able to identify the suspect, 58-year-old Maria Disney.
“She has numerous misdemeanor arrests by this agency,” said Sgt. Carl Cruz, with the Concord Police Department.
Police located Disney, who is homeless, and arrested her for vandalism, a hate crime, criminal mischief and drug charges.
They say she has confessed to the crime.
“She stated she got into an argument with a Muslim person last week and she was upset at that person and that is why she did it,” Cruz said.
The graffiti has since been painted over and since word got out, Karbasi has received an outpouring of support from the community, including two women who brought in flowers.
“Anyone can have religious beliefs and they should be free to do that and when someone puts graffiti on someones store it hurts my heart, and it’s a society is really hard to be a part of,” said Concord resident Candy Pease.