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Surveillance footage captures suspect accused of spray-painting swastikas in Center City

Philadelphia Police Department

A police car drives in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Police are investigating after multiple swastikas were found spray-painted across Center City over the weekend.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, May 17, officers responded to reports of vandalism along the 1900 through 2300 blocks of Market Street.

The vandalism included the word “Rome” with an arrow and swastika spray-painted on a newsstand, two swastikas spray-painted on pillars outside Coventry Deli, and a blue swastika spray-painted on a nearby property under construction.

Alleged suspect in string of anti-Semitic vandalism
Authorities on Wednesday released surveillance footage of the alleged suspect.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw referred to the acts as “heinous,” adding that “acts of hate will not be tolerated in our city.”

The vandalism follows a recent Anti-Defamation League report that found a surge in cases of anti-Semitism in the region.

In 2019, the ADL recorded 109 anti-Semitic incidents across the commonwealth, marking the second-highest total recorded since the ADL began performing annual audits of such activity in 1979.

Philadelphia saw the most cases of anti-Semitism in the state, followed by Montgomery and Delaware counties, per the report.

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The ADL has recorded 12 anti-Semitic incidents in Philadelphia since the start of 2020.

No arrests have been made in connection with the Market Street incidents. This is an ongoing investigation.

Tips can be submitted by calling 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847). Tips can also be submitted anonymously online. All tips are confidential.

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If you have experienced or witnessed an incident of bias, hatred or bigotry, you can report it to the ADL here.

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