CHICAGO (CBS) — A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of a vandal who smashed the front window of the Chicago Loop Synagogue and affixed swastikas to its front entrance.
“It’s hate crime, and I want to see the perpetrator arrested and convicted,” said Raul Montes, a community activist from Little Village. Montes said he’s putting up the reward money.
Police received a call at 12:20 a.m. Saturday for “criminal damage in progress” at the temple at 16 S. Clark St., according to Chicago Police.
Surveillance video shows someone getting out of a dark-colored SUV, possibly a Toyota Highlander, and placing two swastika stickers on the front doors, police said. Then he takes out a metal object and smashes a plate glass window.
The suspect is described as a white male wearing dark clothing and a dark face mask, police said.
The American Jewish Committee’s Chicago office condemned the attack, saying the incident comes amid a rise in incidents of anti-Semitism across the country.
“The Chicago Jewish community will not be intimidated by anti-Semitic attacks on a house of worship,” AJC Chicago Director Amy Stoken said. “The right of all religious groups to practice their faith without fear is a fundamental American value. Chicagoans must speak together clearly that the hatred behind this destructive behavior will never be accepted.”
The Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago Coordinating Committee also issued a statement condemning the “horrendous display of hatred of Jews.”
“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish communities of Chicago and around the world, with our Muslim family, and with oppressed people everywhere,” according to the statement.
Cardinal Blase Cupich tweeted in support of the synagogue, saying ‘Hate will not prevail.”
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago also issued a statement Monday denouncing the vandalism.
“We offer our support to our neighbors at the Chicago Loop Synagogue and stand firmly with the Jewish community against these acts of hate,” Aymen Abdel Halim, CIOGC Communications Director, said in a letter to the synagogue. The council is also planning talks and visits with Jewish community leadership to address community challenges.
No one was in custody.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)