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Vandalism of McDonald’s Tied to Animal Rights Activists, Police Say

Times Staff Writer

Shattered plate glass windows and spray-painted slogans on a McDonald’s restaurant in Torrance appeared to be the latest in a string of attacks by militant animal rights activists, police said Monday.

Officers responding to a burglar alarm Sunday morning found “McMurder Killers” and “ALF” painted on a window of the restaurant at Crenshaw Boulevard and Skypark Drive. Police were investigating a possible connection to the Animal Liberation Front, an animal rights group that authorities characterize as a “terrorist” organization.

Neither police nor a spokesman for animal rights groups said ALF had taken responsibility for the attack. However, both said it was similar to attacks in the South Bay and Hollywood Hills within the last three months.

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“It sounds like it was the Animal Liberation Front. It’s pretty typical of their actions,” said Jerry Vlasak, a spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office.

“We haven’t received any communique from them, though,” Vlasak added. “Nobody’s taken responsibility for it.”

The North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office is an organization that publicizes acts by groups like ALF, but does not participate in them.

Since November, vandals have struck at least three other times at McDonald’s restaurants -- including once at the same Torrance franchise. Each time, they shattered windows, spray-painted the letters “ALF” and wrote slogans such as “Don’t feed your kids McKillers,” “Stop McKiller” and “We won’t sleep until the slaughter ends.”

Vandals also damaged the Hollywood Hills home of an executive with a company that uses animals for testing.

In a statement issued Monday, the owner of the Torrance McDonald’s, Mike Mangione Jr., said, “This is a criminal matter which is currently under investigation by the local authorities.

“McDonald’s is committed to the humane treatment of animals, and we are recognized as an industry leader in animal welfare. It is unfortunate and counterproductive for someone not to educate themselves on the facts and instead resort to these criminal activities.”

Torrance police said there were few clues in the case and asked the public for help.

“They do have surveillance video, but it was inside covering the cash register,” Lt. Brad Wilson said. “It’s not going to help much in this situation.”


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