FBI Joins Probe Into SUV Vandalism

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The FBI (search) has joined an investigation into vandalism at a car dealership that left a dozen sport utility vehicles covered in graffiti naming the seven deadly sins.

The SUVs at a Land Rover (search) dealership were painted with words like "Avarice" and "Gluttony" Thursday night or early Friday morning, Santa Fe police said. The initials "ELF" where among the messages, a likely reference to the radical Earth Liberation Front (search), city police said.

The underground group has claimed responsibility for arsons against commercial entities that members accuse of damaging the environment.

Last month, the group took credit for a vandalism and arson spree that targeted SUVs at several car dealerships and on the streets of suburban Los Angeles, causing $2.5 million in damages.

It has also taken responsibility for vandalizing sport utility vehicles at dealerships in Santa Cruz, Erie, Pa., Seattle and Eugene, Ore., and earlier this month claimed responsibility for burning a San Diego area apartment building that was under construction.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (search) have been investigating the incidents.

Karen Ruben, manager of Land Rover Santa Fe, said the graffiti damaged about one-third of the dealership's inventory and would likely cost several thousand dollars to repair.

FBI Special Agent Bill Elwell of Albuquerque said the agency is only conducting a preliminary inquiry and added that the damage could be an act of vandals other than ELF.