Fourteen distribution boxes for the gay weekly Xtra Vancouver have been damaged by vandals in the past week, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Police are investigating the incidents as a possible hate crime.

The vandals smashed the glass in the front door of the boxes – damaging the clips that hold the paper – and stole the latest issues, causing about $3,000 worth of damage. Only boxes distributing the gay paper were damaged.

The downtown Vancouver incidents occurred between December 25 and December 29.

“We're treating this as a possible hate crime [although] that's not confirmed at this point,” Constable Jana McGuinness told the paper. “We can't rule it out. The motive is still unclear but when no other paper boxes next to these ones were damaged we have to think there are some anger issues here.”

Xtra Vancouver is owed by Pink Triangle Press, which also produces Xtra Toronto and Xtra Ottawa.

“For us it's not even mainly about the damage,” Gareth Kirby, regional manager of Pink Triangle Press, said. “On something like this they're not targeting the paper; they're targeting gay people.”