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NYPD & State Police Hate Crime Units Investigating Vandalism At Bronx Synagogues

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD and State Police hate crime units are investigating after four synagogues in the Bronx were vandalized.

Police released video of a man caught in the act, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported Monday.

Leaders at the Riverdale Jewish Center said the building has been hit three times in the last few days. The latest incident happened early Monday morning. Police were there at the time, but it happened on the other side of the building.

New video shows a man throwing rocks at the Chabad of Riverdale Saturday night, adding to damage that was already there.

UPDATE: NYPD: Jordan Burnette Arrested In Connection To Rash Of Hate Crimes In The Bronx

The building was targeted twice in two days. One time a rock landed inside, leaving behind more than just shattered windows.

"The whole Jewish community is shaken up and it's not only Jewish people. It's people all over," said Rabbi Levi Shemtov. "We're all shaken up at what happened. This is terrible, this is outrageous, this is horrible."

Police said the same suspect was also caught on camera shattering windows at nearby Young Israel of Riverdale. The suspect used rocks then kicked a window, police said.

There were four synagogues targeted in the past few days. All are in close proximity.

They include the Conservative Synagogue Adath Isreal which now has yellow tape holding its windows together.

The Riverdale Jewish Center was hit two times after it had already boarded up a window.

"It's just upsetting that it's happening again, perpetually," said Jared Weintraub from Riverdale. "I'm concerned for the congregation, for everyone that lives in the area."

"It's a disgusting attack on Jewish people. That's what it is," said Jim Hartman from Riverdale.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said once caught, the suspect should be charged with a hate crime.

"When it's four synagogues, there's no doubt as to what the motivation is, and we have to enforce the law in a very strict way in this case," Dinowitz said.

Since the weekend, Dinowitz has joined several virtual meetings to address the recent vandalism with the NYPD and the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership, a group created and organized by The Riverdale Y.

"There's comfort and solidarity in numbers. So when we can all come together to lean on each other and know that no one is alone," said Deann Forman.

"We've unfortunately had a history with people doing this. We'll come stronger and more united as a community," said Rabbi Shemtov.

Leah Ferster of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Riverdale, released the following statements condemning the vandalism:

The acts of vandalism on our synagogues are a brutal reminder of the threat of antisemitic violence against our people and our places of worship. As we demand an end to hate-fueled violence against our community and others, we must also demand more effective solutions that do not simply lead to more policing of our neighborhoods or pit our communities against each other. We must invest in anti-hate education, restorative justice, and community building, and find solution that make us safe without threatening the safety of others.

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, released the following statement:

We are horrified by the acts of vandalism targeting synagogues in New York and a mosque in Minnesota. Over the past few weeks, months, and years, we have seen a rise in attacks on faith communities and communities of color, from the recent violence against Sikh people in Indianapolis and Asian women in Atlanta to the ongoing epidemic of police violence against Black and brown communities.

The suspect is also accused of damaging cars. No one was hurt in any of the incidents.

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the NYPD had a solid lead, but no arrests have been made.

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