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Salt Lake police identify person of interest in vandalism of synagogue last month

This image shows a person of interest police have identified in a case of vandalism at the Chabad Community Center Synagogue in Salt Lake City that occurred on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

This image shows a person of interest police have identified in a case of vandalism at the Chabad Community Center Synagogue in Salt Lake City that occurred on Sunday, May 16, 2021. (Salt Lake City Police Department)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Police have identified a person of interest in a vandalism case in which a swastika was carved into the doors of a Jewish community center in Salt Lake City last month.

A photo of the person of interest provided by Salt Lake police shows a white man with brown or dark blond hair, wearing a navy blue shirt and blue jeans, with black and white sneakers. Anyone who knows who he is or has any information about the case is asked to call the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000, police said.

The vandalism occurred sometime in the early morning hours on May 16. Police responded to the Chabad Community Center Synagogue, 1760 S. 1100 East, about 8:30 a.m. that day and discovered a swastika had been carved into the glass door or the building. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Police previously said they had surveillance footage showing a person carving the symbol, but the video was too dark to determine a description of a suspect.

"It was chilling to watch the video," Rabbi Avremi Zippel, who first tweeted photos of the vandalism, said last month. "I think it was a deliberate act; whoever did this was in full control of their faculties and knew precisely what they were doing."

The vandalism at the synagogue took place amid conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza strip last month, where violence reached its highest level in the region in several years.

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