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Blood said to be on Starbucks sign in Glen Rock, N.J. leads to fears of hate crime related to Israel-Hamas war

Blood said to be on Starbucks sign in N.J. town leads to fears of Israel-Hamas war hate crime
Blood said to be on Starbucks sign in N.J. town leads to fears of Israel-Hamas war hate crime 02:13

GLEN ROCK, N.J. -- Police in one New Jersey town are investigating what they have labeled a hate crime that appears to be related the Israel-Hamas war.

They said a Starbucks employee on Monday morning reported blood on the coffee chain's sign on Rock Road in Glen Rock.

However, as photos given to CBS New York by the borough's mayor show, authorities say it was actually splattered red paint.

Police said they also discovered antisemitic stickers related to the Israel-Hamas war on the sign's posts.

"Starbucks responded immediately. I can't praise them enough for their responsiveness. They had their contractor removing the sign in record time," Glen Rock Police Chief Dean Ackermann said.

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Glen Rock Mayor Kristine Morieko and Jeff Lipson, the president of the Jewish center in the borough, were among the first people on the scene.

"My heart went to my stomach because this is the second incident in a week. They had graffiti at the school and now this today," Morieko said. "I have to be very clear. This is antisemitic hate that they are spreading."

"It's just pure hate and it's disgusting and it's despicable, and it's wrong," Lipson added.

Congressman Josh Gottheimer said the stickers police found call for the destruction of Israel.

"Think about what they are telling people, to literally eliminate a people, the Jewish people, eliminate the Jewish state," Gottheimer said.

Gottheimer added an American from Bergen County is among the hostages being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

The Anti-Defamation League said hate crimes, especially against Jewish people, are at an all-time high.

The congressman blames it on social media disinformation when it comes to the Israel-Hamas war.

"The rockets are still being fired into Israel. We still have hostages we still have to get home, and we've got to get humanitarian aid in, and we have to stop Hamas," Gottheimer said.

Residents said they believe a small group of people is responsible for the vandalism.

"It's not representative of the majority of people that live here, for sure," Tabitha Pugliesi said.

Police said they are looking through surveillance video and working with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. They're also asking anyone who may know anything to reach out to them.

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