CHICAGO (CBS) — On the early morning hours of March 2, a man trudged through the snow in front of the Chinese American Museum in Chinatown and used a hammer to bust out the teeth of the hand carved lions perched outside the museum on 23rd street.
Even though officials released surveillance video of the man and the incident, there have been no leads.
“It’s unfortunate that somebody did this to us and we hope that the community will cooperate and help us,” said Museum Director Anita Luk.
Luk says they have upped their reward to $2,500 for anyone who has any information that leads to the arrest of the vandal.
“He kept pounding on the lions, 16 times we counted. All the fangs on the mama lion and the papa lion were all gone.”
The man was wearing a winter coat and a knit cap and appeared to be Asian which Luk says leads them to believe he’s from the Chinatown community. He also brought with him some kind of pick or hammer which means the vandalism was premeditated.
“Hopefully with upping the award that will help us in solving this crime,” said Museum President Sulan Moy.
The blue stone lions were donated to the museum last year by the Chinese government as a gift for the neighborhood’s centennial celebration.
The traditional Imperial lions were originally a luxury item reserved for elite Chinese and placed in front of a home to protect the family’s wealth and well-being.
It’s unclear what the man’s motive was. Damage is estimated at $10,000.