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Flagstaff synagogue targeted in hate crime, damaged with swastikas

(Flagstaff Police Department photo)

PHOENIX — A synagogue in northern Arizona was burglarized and damaged with what police are calling hate symbols over the weekend.

The Flagstaff Police Department said the Chabad of Flagstaff Synagogue was defaced sometime between Friday and Monday.

Authorities said there was at least $1,000 in damage found in multiple rooms in the building, including what appeared to be swastikas carved in the walls.

Paint cans were smashed and dumped on the floors and black paint was smeared on the windows in a “swastika-like pattern.” Power tools were also damaged.

Authorities collected fingerprints and biological evidence to assist with the investigation.

The department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Rabbi Dovie Shapiro said the Jewish community was shocked and disturbed by what he called an act of hate.

Carlos Galindo-Elvira, the regional director at ADL Arizona, said he was horrified by the images.

“Targeting a premises being built for community and religious use is simply beyond the pale,” he said in a statement.

“We extend our support and solidarity with Rabbi Dovie Shapiro, congregants, and the entire Flagstaff Jewish community.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Det. Mike Rodriquez at 928-679-4098 or Silent Witness at 928-774-6111.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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