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Nassau County & MTA Police Team Up To Combat Anti-Semitism In Five Towns

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police have teamed up in an effort to stop incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti at a Long Island Rail Road station.

Authorities say the move comes following 11 separate incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti appearing on three LIRR station platforms in Five Towns over the last year.

Mangano called the incidents alarming. "Nassau County will not tolerate these detestable acts and is partnering with the MTA by offering its intelligence-led policing assets to strengthen the MTA efforts to apprehend those responsible for such hate crimes."

Police say the incidents have typically occurred overnight and generally consist of profanity-laced statements written in permanent marker on one or several platform billboards or station signs that are bolted to platform barriers. Vandals also etched a crude swastika into a Lucite wall of the platform shelters.

In virtually every instance, the graffiti made direct hateful reference to Orthodox Jews, authorities said.

According to Nassau County Leg. Howard J. Kopel, Five Towns is home to one of the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish communities.

"We have numerous Holocaust survivors who live here, and a great many first- or second-generation descendants of Holocaust survivors. These blatant displays of hatred such as these are jarring, traumatic reminders of a time many feel is best forgotten, and I'm pleased with the efforts of the county executive and the Nassau County police to put an end to these outrageous acts," Kopel said.

The Nassau County Police Department said it is actively engaging in efforts to deter future incidents. The department is also working to identify and arrest those who are responsible for the previous incidents.

Crime Stoppers is currently offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information regarding the incidents is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).

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