Vandals struck an Ellicott City neighborhood last week, spray-painting mailboxes and street signs with obscenities and painting a racial slur in front of the home of a Korean family.
Police said about 20homes were vandalized in the Wilton Acres community in the early morning hours Tuesday.
The incidents are being classified as destruction of property, and police say the vandalism does not appear related to the distribution of hundreds of Racial Loyalty newspapers to Columbia neighborhoods in recent months.
The paper, which encourages violence against minorities and Jews, has been found on Columbia lawns four times since November.
The vandals on Tuesday painted the slur, "Chinks," in gold paint at the intersection of Maple Rock Drive and East Stayman Drive in front of a Korean family's home.
"We don't think this is connected with the paper at all," said Mike Sherman, a county police spokesman. "This appears to be a random spray-painting of streets, exceptfor the word, "Chinks."
The family, who asked not to be identified, said that two weeks ago, vandals had smashed the windshield on their truck and painted the same slur on it.
As residents of the neighborhood for three years, they said they have never had this sort of trouble before. One member of the family said he would like to give amessage to the vandals.
"I would like to tell them 'Please, no more,' " he said. "We all have to live together."
A 30-year residentof Wilton Acres said the neighborhood has been the target of occasional vandalism in the past five weeks.
In this latest incident, theman, who asked not to be named, said his mailbox was painted with "the famous four-letter word." Three weeks ago, 10 mailboxes in the neighborhood were destroyed, he said.
"We've had more trouble in the past five weeks than we've had in the past 30 years," he said.
Theman said he suspects the vandals are neighborhood youths
because all of the incidents have occurred on Friday nights. The most recent incident occurred the day of the Maryland primary, when schools were closed.
In an unrelated incident, police reported last week that Wilde Lake and Owen Brown middle schools received racist and hate literature in the mail.
The packet of photocopied materials sent to the Wilde Lake Middle School PTA was postmarked Milwaukee, Wis., from agroup identified on the letterhead as "The United American Front," based in Baton Rouge, La.
The literature contains racist commentarydirected toward blacks and Jews.
Police have not yet obtained theliterature sent to Owen Brown Middle School and are continuing to investigate the incidents.