Police probe more anti-Semitic graffiti

| November 21, 2009

For the second time in less than a week, anti-Semitic graffiti has been spray-painted on several locations in Calgary.

Swastikas and racist messages were among the graffiti found on multiple locations in the southeast neighbourhood of Sundance, including the walls of Sundance Elementary School and MidSun junior high.

Fences and vehicles on Sunvale Crescent S.E. were also vandalized.

Police believe the vandalism happened between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Investigators believe these incidents are not related to the vandalism of several Jewish properties, including synagogues and a Holocaust memorial, in the southwest part of the city over the weekend.

"This one seemed a lot more broader," said Calgary police spokesman Kevin Brookwell on Thursday. "Some of the words were spelled wrong. Some of the symbols were wrong. They were backwards.

"They talk about school and make reference to how school sucks and 'Down with school' and they also talk about 'Down with institutions' in general. There is also a reference to some sexual anatomy that is mixed in with it. So, it really is all over the map."

A can of spray paint recovered in the area has been sent for analysis. Police are also looking for witnesses or surveillance video.

Bylaw officers removed the graffiti within an hour of it being reported, said Brookwell.

"I don't want to discount or minimize the damage what was done and what was written. Some of it is definitely very hurtful," he said. "Some of it was directed at the Jewish culture again, with reference to killing again. So, certainly, this is serious."
Tips sought in hate crime

Meanwhile, police and Crime Stoppers filmed a re-enactment on Thursday hoping it will generate new tips in finding the vandals behind the anti-Semitic slogans over the weekend.

Police are now calling the incidents a hate crime.

"It is a crime to commit mischief to a religious property, and that's what happened on two of the incidents — they were synagogues," said Const. Brian Denison.

Earlier this week, police released images from a surveillance camera that show a man in front of the Chabad Lubavitch centre in the Woodbine neighbourhood on Saturday around 10 p.m.

A separate charge can be laid for each location that was defaced, which could mean a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if someone is convicted.



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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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