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Police arrest suspect in antisemitic vandalism, burglary incidents around Berkeley

Witness accounts and surveillance camera video helped Berkeley police identify and arrest a 39-year-old man in connection with a series of hate crimes committed last month involving antisemitic graffiti.

Police said the incidents began between 4-6 a.m. April 29, when a private residence in the 2500 block of Warring Street was vandalized with graffiti referencing people of Jewish faith and a Jewish religious artifact was destroyed.

That same evening between 6-7 p.m., the same suspect was seen vandalizing a Jewish synagogue in the 1300 block of Oxford Street with antisemitic graffiti. Police said the suspect also destroyed religious artifacts and left a handmade reverse swastika.

The same suspect was captured by a surveillance camera the following morning between 2:33-4:35 a.m. burglarizing a Jewish community center in the 2700 block of Bancroft Way. The suspect wrote messages in English and Hebrew that referenced Judaism and also stole some items.

Police spotted the suspect on May 3 in Civic Center Park and arrested him on suspicion of three offenses: burglary, vandalism and a hate crime for defacing or destroying property for the purpose of intimidating or interfering with the free exercise of a constitutional right.

Police have not released the name of the suspect arrested.

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