Police in Northern Virginia are searching for a suspect after a Jewish community center was found covered in swastikas.
Nineteen swastikas were found spray-painted on the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax County early Saturday morning. A church down the street was also vandalized
Surveillance video showed a suspect vandalizing the center at 4:30 a.m., according to WTOP. The suspect appears to be wearing dark clothing with a gray mask obscuring their face.
David Yaffe, president of the community center’s board of directors, told the station the center was previously vandalized with swastikas in April 2017. Dylan M. Mahone, 20, was arrested in connection with the previous incident.
“We are grateful to the local law enforcement officials who are working to identify and bring to justice the person or persons who committed the crime,” the Jewish Community Center of North Virginia said in a statement. “As always, our community’s safety will be our priority as we remain committed to fulfilling our daily mission as a community center.”
Last year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide rose 60 percent from 2016 with 1,986 reported incidents, The Anti-Defamation League reported.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) condemned the latest act of vandalism in a tweet.
“An insidious rise in hateful actions and anti-Semitism is happening in Virginia and across the country,” Kaine said. “We must meet it with fierce condemnation and an over-abundance of love and unity. We cannot allow hate to fester.”
Anyone with knowledge of the incident has been asked to contact the Mason District Police Station at 703-256-8035.