Police today asked for the public's help in identifying whoever vandalized a Port Richmond house - which was to be rented to a black couple - and spray-painted racial epithets on the walls and carpet.

The rowhouse, in the 2900 block of Edgemont Street, was burglarized sometime between Saturday night and late Wednesday morning, when the owner discovered the damage, said Capt. John Darby, commander of the Special Victims Unit.

The hate graffiti read "All n-s should be hung" and "Keep it white. White is right." A cross was spray-painted on a living-room wall as well "KKK." The front and rear windows were broken and other interior damage was visible from outside.

"These are very serious crimes that carry very serious penalties," Darby said.

The woman who was supposed to move in and a family member had inspected the property Saturday evening and there was no damage, said Darby, whose unit oversees conflict resolution.

However, the woman reportedly encountered some white males who made racially charged remarks while she was visiting the house, the owner told police.

Darby declined to identify the couple or the owner. He said his investigators were expecting to formally interview the couple today. Police interviewed the owner on Wednesday after he made the initial report.

"That's a disgrace," said Helen Murawski, who stopped to look at the house after visiting a hairdresser down the block. "We should all get along together."

Angelo Miscio, 81, who lives around the corner on Monmouth Street, called the incident a shame and not representative of the neighborhood he's know all his life.

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.