As the celebration of Hanukkah continues, police are trying to find the vandal who damaged three menorahs in an Atlantic County community.
The vandalism was discovered Monday morning at three locations in Margate, New Jersey. The city-owned menorah at Margate’s municipal pier was toppled while the bulbs were smashed and the cords were cut. A few of the branches of the menorah outside the Milton and Betty Katz Jewish Community Center were broken while the menorah at Margate’s recreational complex was damaged as well. Police say it was the fourth time in four weeks that the menorah at the recreational complex was vandalized.
“It’s just really said,” said Linda Stefanides of Ventnor, New Jersey. “I don’t understand. I really don’t.”
Margate Police believe all of the incidents are connected and they’re being investigated as acts of hate.
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“We’re treating it as a bias crime at this time,” said Detective Chris Taroncher of the Margate Police Department. “The prosecutor’s office has already been notified. The state police get notified.”
The menorah at the pier was later repaired while the menorah at the JCC is in the process of being fixed. The city has also put a replacement menorah high up on a flag pole at the recreational complex.
“The menorah is going back up tonight because it’s a symbol of victory and light and we want to make sure that continues,” said Jack Fox of the Milton & Betty Katz JCC.
If you have any information on any of the incidents, please call Margate Police.