On November 5, 2003 MetroWest reported that police officers in Ashland are "investigating whether racial slurs spray-painted on a rock near the Sri Lakshmi Temple are connected to other vandalism to nearby homes found this week. A message containing racial slurs and the word 'beware' was spray-painted in red on a rock near the Hindu temple's driveway and on the parking lot sometime Friday night, said temple chairman Jay Srinivasan.Tissue paper also was strewn in the temple's trees, he said... Temple officials may view the vandalism as a prank, but Lt. Scott Rohmer said police are treating it as a civil rights crime. 'That's a very serious crime. We are aggressively investigating,' said Rohmer, the acting chief. 'These are hate crimes.' A swastika written in a paint of similar color and ure was found by police on a house on Kathryn Drive, less than a mile from the temple, said Rohmer."