Atheist Niko Theris, 82, celebrated International Blasphemy Day on Thursday by rendering 38 Bibles unreadable and leaving them around the downtown area.
By 6:11 a.m., 10 had been turned in to the Laguna Beach Police Department, according to Sgt. Bob Rahaeuser. The Bibles had an inscription stating that they were in honor of "International Blasphemy Rights Day."
One had nails hammered into it in the shape of a cross; another was secured with a nut and bolt; another had a chain link with a padlock on it.
Police officers photographed the Bibles and investigated the Blasphemy Day link, but did not connect them to Theris.
When the Coastline Pilot contacted Theris, who is active in an atheist group, he readily admitted that he was responsible for them.
"The Constitution gives me the right to express myself," Theris said. "I wanted to make the point that it should be OK to ridicule religion."