Police say more than 100 Jewish cemetery headstones damaged [photos]

Police say more than 100 headstones have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, damage discovered less than a week after similar vandalism in Missouri.

Police said a man visiting the cemetery called police at 9:40 a.m. Sunday to report that three of his relatives’ headstones had been knocked over and damaged.

Officers found that about 100 other headstones were also knocked over, apparently sometime after dark Saturday. A criminal mischief/institutional vandalism investigation was opened.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia lists Mount Carmel as a Jewish cemetery.

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Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the report “shocking and a source of worry.”

The damage comes less than a week after a Jewish cemetery in suburban St. Louis reported more than 150 headstones vandalized, many of them tipped over.

In a statment released Sunday evening, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said:

“My heart breaks for the families who found their loved ones’ headstones toppled this morning. We are doing all we can to find the perpetrators who desecrated this final resting place, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia. I encourage Philadelphians to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and to show them that we are the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

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