The spraying of a swastika and other vulgar graffiti on a synagogue and some schools in Calgary has been deemed by police as a hate crime.
Three suspects are being sought after the symbol was scrawled last week on a rear door of the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue.
Vandals also tagged several schools with swastikas and other vulgar drawings and language, including:
- Graffiti and swastikas, vulgar drawings and language spray painted on a school in the 200 block of Parkland Way S.E.
- Swastikas and abusive words painted on a school in the 1700 block of Acadia Dr. S.E.
- Words and vulgar sayings painted on a school in the 700 block of Mapleton Dr. S.E.
- Various inappropriate words and images painted on a school in the 13800 block of Parkside Dr. S.E. The same school was vandalized two other times in previous weeks
All the graffiti has since been removed.
According to the Calgary Sun, this is the second time the southwest synagogue was targetted. In 2009, a young offender was given 18 months probation for spraying the place of worship with hate-filled graffiti.
“Swastikas are generally understood for people, they know what that means. The fact it was on schools and certainly on a synagogue would lead us to consider these hate crimes and to be investigated as such,” Sgt. Bill Dodd of the diversity resources unit told the Calgary Herald.
Investigators say surveillance video has given them a description of the suspects.
Judy Shapiro with the Calgary Jewish Foundation says many people in the community are distressed that a symbol of hate and evil is being displayed in highly-visible places.
It is not known if all the incidents are related, but police said the nature of all the graffiti appears similar.
With files from the Canadian Press
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