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Synagogues Vandalized and Damaged Hours Apart in West Rogers Park, Lincolnwood

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Multiple synagogues were vandalized or damaged just miles apart Sunday in Chicago and nearby suburban Lincolnwood, authorities said.

Around 4:40 p.m., someone spray-painted graffiti on a West Rogers Park synagogue in the 2900 block of West Devon, police said. Video from the scene showed a hate symbol was spray-painted on the back side of the F.R.E.E. synagogue.

Around the same time, someone spray-painted graffiti on a cargo container about a block away, near an area high school.

Police said the suspect fled the scene southbound on Sacramento after verbally assaulting one person in the area. A person of interest was being questioned as of about 8 p.m.

Hours earlier, just before 7 a.m., a man was seen on video kicking out the side window of a synagogue in the 3600 block of West Devon in Lincolnwood, causing the window to shatter, Chicago police said.

It was not clear if the incidents were related and police said no one was in custody with that incident.

Ald. Debra Silverstein, of the 50th Ward, called said "vandalism was discovered at several local Jewish institutions and businesses" in the area, calling the incidents "distressing."

"No official pronouncement has been made on a possible motive, but these have all the hallmarks of hate-based crimes," she wrote in an update to residents. "These incidents are particularly upsetting as they come mere days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and in light of a worrying increase in antisemitism across the nation."

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