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Swastika found in gang symbol at suburban Chicago pizzeria

Swastika found in gang symbol at suburban Chicago pizzeria
Swastika found in gang symbol at suburban Chicago pizzeria 01:55

SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) -- An investigation is underway in the north suburbs.

Police said a vandal drew a swastika on the storefront of a Jewish-owned pizzeria in Skokie. As CBS 2's Andrew Ramos reported Monday night, new surveillance images show a person of interest.

Police said they originally opened a hate crime investigation when it was first reported at EJ's Pizzeria, 9149 Gross Point Rd. However, upon further review, officials said it wasn't exactly antisemitic symbolism that was found -- but rather, the image was gang-related. 

The graffiti that was found scrawled across the front window shows a swastika inside what appears to be a heart. CBS blurred the image on television because our policy is to not show gang graffiti.

Police said the person responsible used an unknown sharp object and a black marker to vandalize the window.

The pizzeria owner released these surveillance images of that individual wearing a light-colored jacket and hooded sweatshirt approaching the business around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Skokie Police Department now determined that it was gang graffiti, moving away from initial claims that it was an antisemitic symbolism.

It's not meant to take away from the rise of antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes across the county amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict but shows just how on-edge many people are when it comes to suspected imagery and threats.

CBS 2 reached out to the owner at EJ's, but has not heard back regarding the new development.

So far, no arrests in this incident have been made.

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