Police are investigating after several East Vancouver homes were targeted with racist graffiti. 

Karen Rai and her family are among the residents who recently found their properties spray-painted with hateful messages in the area of Skeena Street and 23rd Avenue.

Rai and her husband were taking the kids to soccer a few Saturdays ago when they noticed their garage door had been defaced.

“My children were very upset by it,” Rai told CTV News. “We told them most people aren’t like that, but there are some people that don’t like differences. And we just walk away from that. And you hold your head up high.”

Their home and others had references to East Vancouver being for “Europeans” or “white Europeans,” while another home was marked with a swastika.

Rai reported the graffiti to police, and Sg.t Randy Fincham confirmed the force’s Graffiti Unit has launched an investigation.

“We’re encouraging homeowners or residents, if they see it on their private property or public property, that they report it,” Fincham said.

Some homes in the area have surveillance cameras, which could help catch whoever is responsible. Rai said she believes it could have been a group of “young, ignorant kids who are just trying to have a good time.”

Vandalism, including graffiti, can lead to charges of mischief, the penalty for which would be much stiffer if a judge determined the crime was motivated by hatred.

“If it’s something attacking a particular race or person… or group then it’s something we take very seriously,” Fincham said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim