VANCOUVER -- A Lower Mainland man says it took multiple reports before hateful graffiti was removed from a Maple Ridge statue.

"I saw a swastika sign and derogatory words towards gay people and generally people of colour," said Garnet Samuel.

He took a photo of the graffiti, which was visible to drivers and pedestrians on Lougheed Highway, on a penguin statue near the city's main mall.

"I felt a little bit surprised not so much at the graffiti but the reaction of people walking by and not really saying or doing anything about it," Samuel said.

Samuel commutes from Burnaby to work at a Maple Ridge barber shop and says he reported the graffiti to Ridge Meadows RCMP twice before it was removed.

"If I witness something like this again in Maple Ridge I will probably stop coming here," Samuel told his boss, feeling uneasy about the hateful messages.

Coun. Ahmed Yousef condemned the graffiti and called for an investigation.

"This is highly uncharacteristic of our community," Yousef said.

"It’s a very welcoming community that we have here I stand as testament that I am a visible minority and yet I am part of the local municipal government."

Yousef also said since the report was made on a Sunday, it may have delayed the cleanup.

He also noted crime in the area has been spiking over recent months.

Meanwhile, Samuel said he felt immediately compelled to report the hateful graffiti and wishes someone who saw it there before him felt the same.

"If you see something happening that is wrong or you see something unjust it takes as little effort as taking a picture and going to your local authorities,” he added.

As of Monday night, a new message appeared in the same spot that reads, "Hate has no place here."