Police Release Video of Suspect in Hate-Crime Vandalism at Chicago Loop Synagogue

A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender

Authorities have released video of a suspect wanted in connection with the vandalism of a synagogue in downtown Chicago on Saturday. 

Around 12:20 a.m., officers responded to a call at 16 S. Clark St. in the city's Loop, police said. There they found that the front window of the Chicago Loop Synagogue had been broken and two swastika stickers were posted on the front door. [[412834213, C]] [[412774313, C]]

On Saturday afternoon, officials released surveillance video showing someone pulling up to the scene in a dark SUV, which police said may have been a Toyota Highlander, and exiting the vehicle from the driver's side.

The offender can be seen placing the stickers on the entrance, then using a metal object to strike the adjacent window twice, shattering the glass. [[412833013, C]]

The suspect is described as a white male wearing dark clothing and a dark mask, according to police. 

No one is in custody and authorities continue to investigate the incident as a hate crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 747-8382. 

A community activist is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the crime. [[412774103, C]]

"Whoever did this should be arrested, prosecuted, and they should make an example of this person so this doesn't occur again here," said Raul Montes, Jr., the activist offering the reward. 

The American Jewish Committee, a national advocacy group, condemned the attack, saying it came amid a rise in incidents of anti-Semitism across the country.

"The Chicago Jewish community will not be intimidated by anti-Semitic attacks on a house of worship," AJC Chicago director Amy Stoken said in a statement.

"The right of all religious groups to practice their faith without fear is a fundamental American value. Chicagoans must speak together clearly that the hatred behind this destructive behavior will never be accepted," she added. 

Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich weighed in on the incident as well, tweeting "Hate will not prevail." [[412784883, C]]

The Council on American-Islamic-Relations of Chicago also denounced the vandalism, calling it "a shameful act of cowardice and hate" and offering the support and solidarity of Chicago's Muslim community. 

"No American should have to feel vulnerable and at risk simply due to their religious affiliation," CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, we know the feeling all too well as mosque vandalism and burning has spiked recently in the US. We recognize the source of hate as one, and regardless of religious affiliation, we stand together in solidarity against it as one. An attack on any is an attack on us all," he added. 

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