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Man Caught on Video Spray Painting Swastikas on Jewish Temples in Florida

Sheriff’s deputies in Sarasota County, Florida say surveillance footage shows a man vandalizing two local Jewish temples. The suspect spray painted swastikas and other graffiti, officials said, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage.

The man was described as white, in his 20s or 30s, about 5’10” to 6’2″ in height, with “dark hair and a thin build.” He wore a blue baseball cap, a dark long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and gray athletic shoes, deputies said. The suspect wore a red banana over his face.

From deputies:

Anyone with information related to these incidents or suspects involved is asked to contact our Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4900 or 941.861.4928.

As seen on video, the suspect arrived on the property of Temple Emanu-El. The timestamp in the published footage began at 2:14 a.m. on Wednesday. He approached several walls with what appears to be spray paint and began vandalizing the facility, authorities say.

The man went to Temple Sinai minutes later at 2:30 a.m., deputies said. As seen on video, he spray painted a swastika by an entrance and continued to vandalize the property on nearby spots.

Google Maps estimates a 10- to 12-minute drive between both locations if travel begins at 2 a.m.

Deputies pointed out that a similar incident happened at Temple Emanu-El on April 2: a man was caught on surveillance footage spray painting swastikas. Authorities said the estimated damage was $5,000. Strictly speaking, it’s unclear if this is the same person as in the July 15 crimes, but deputies described him using similar language:

…a white male in his 20’s or 30’s, approximately 5’10” – 6’1” tall, clean shaven, with no visible tattoos. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a dark baseball cap, short-sleeved button-up collared shirt, blue jeans, and flip flops. He also had headphones in his ears.

April 2 incident at Temple Emanu-El.

Deputies had provided the same contact information as in their new investigation: (941) 861-4900 or (941) 861-4928.

[Screengrab from July 15 incident and image of April 2 vandalism via Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office]

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