The vandals who sprayed six swastikas on buildings in the heart of Borough Park early Friday at one point looked straight into a surveillance camera as they did their work, authorities said.
The vandalism took place about 3 AM and was caught by a grocery store camera on 16th Avenue. The affected buildings included a shul, a public school, a mikvah and several stores. A van was also vandalized. The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
“We have good video image but we have not caught anyone yet,” said Councilman David Greenfield, who found out about the defacement early in the morning in a call from a constituent. He is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests.
“The NYPD is using every resource, and I have spoken to the DA who says that when the suspect is caught they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
After touring the affected area, the Borough Park native said he was shocked. “I have never seen this many swastikas at one time before,” he told The Jewish Week Friday. “I’ve never heard of people walking around in an open area, not an alleyway, with such chutzpah and a complete lack of shame, leaving swastikas at so many locations and looking right at the video.”
The affected sites were identified in The Daily News as Junior High School 223, Stolin Bais Medrash, Fishman's Grocery and 16th Avenue Glatt Takeout.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind said it was clear from the video that the perpetrators were not kids but older teenagers or young adults.
He added that the location is one of those scheduled to soon receive state-funded surveillance cameras under a program prompted by the kidnapping and murder of Leibby Kletzky last summer. Private video surveillance was key to the arrest of a suspect in that crime, but not in time to save the 8-year-old boy who was walking home from day camp when he was abducted.
“This was something that would have been picked up from beginning to end,” Hikind said of the vandalism.
He added that he was dubious of any forthcoming arrests because other recent swastika cases in the neighborhood remain unsolved. “There have been all kinds of reports [of leads] but not one person has been charged with anything,” he said.