SURFSIDE (CBSMiami) – Several South Florida police departments are investigating after antisemitic flyers were found in several residential neighborhoods in Miami Beach and Surfside over the weekend.
Miami Beach PD has found the rental vehicle they believe is connected to the disturbing act and are now working on tracking down the driver.
"You can't sit idly by and assume it's just harmless stupidity. It's hate, let's call it what it is, it's hate," said Miami Beach Mayor, Dan Gelber.
Sunday on Twitter, Gelber posted: "Your flyers DO NOT intimidate us. We are a STRONG and PROUD people. There are Jews on all sides of the political spectrum, but TOGETHER we ALL rise arm-in-arm against you."
On Monday, the mayor said precautions were taken.
"We immediately put our synagogues, all of our houses of worship, on alert. We sent more police patrols in the area simply because if you look at what happened in Texas recently," he said
Miami Beach PD said it has collected 205 of the disturbing letters, which were dropped off sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning on residents' lawns and driveways.
"It's so cowardly to do it in the cover a night, in little baggies with pebbles. It's disgusting, the fact that they feel empowered to do something like that is, I can't even find any words to describe it, it's infuriating," said Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhaue.
"For hate to be distributed like that in our neighborhood, is just shocking, to say the least," said Surfside resident Joseph Waks.
He is among many in disbelief after finding out antisemitic propaganda flyers were left in their neighborhood.
"We couldn't believe that in 2022 here in Surfside, this is absolutely hideous. We're used to hearing these types of stories back 50 years ago back 60 years ago", added Waks.
Gelber said the authorities are not taking this matter lightly.
"If you're dealing with somebody who is willing to, you know, in the dead of the night drop hundreds of these hate-filled fliers in front of people's homes, are they willing to do something else," said Gelber.
WATCH: Deborah Souverain's Report On What Miami Beach, Surfside Mayors Had To Say
In a tweet on Sunday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava called out for unity.
"I call on our entire community to firmly and forcefully condemn this disturbing flyer, and all forms of hateful rhetoric, threats, violence, and bigotry that have become increasingly common in our divided society."
Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman expressed anger after learning of the antisemitic flyers and condemned the action.
"To the garbage that distributed this anti-Semitic flyer around South Florida this weekend: Your flyers DO NOT intimidate us," he tweeted.
Mayor Groisman also said in an interview this isn't the first time this flyer was circulated.
"This is the same flyer from the same disgusting antisemitic group that is making waves all over the country, it's a small group but they're loud. The same exact flyer that has been distributed in California and other places around the country and now it's at our doorsteps," said Groisman.
Commissioner Salzhaue said she wants whoever is responsible to be prosecuted.
"I think this is not something that you can brush off. I don't think you can say what kind of crime did they commit; I don't care if they charge them with littering, I don't care if they get a $200 fine, they need to be held accountable. You don't drive into our town and throw your garbage onto our lawns," said Salzhaue.
Residents are asked to contact their local law enforcement agencies if they have any information on who may have distributed the flyers.
If you wish to remain anonymous, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
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