Vandalism is the criminal act of damaging property (private or public).
The word derives from the Vandals, an ancient Germanic tribe who, in their Sack of Rome in 455 CE, looted and trashed the city for fourteen days. Hence the word "vandal" came to be applied to one who destroys or defaces property or buildings without consideration for their owner.
While some acts of destruction can be politically or religiously motivated, the word "vandalism" tends to refer to acts of wanton destruction with no purpose other than the perpetrator's amusement. Serious vandalism can cause permanent damage, or be extremely expensive to repair, and often causes distress to the victims.