Hate Crime: Reward offered after swastika painted on Jewish fami - The CW San Diego - News 8

Hate Crime: Reward offered after swastika painted on Jewish family's home

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POWAY (NEWS 8) – An intense search is underway to find the person or group of people who painted a swastika on the side of a Poway Jewish family’s home late Sunday night – just hours after the start of the Hanukkah holiday.

On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to any arrests.

During Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said: "This kind of action has no place in Poway. This is not Poway. The first thing I want to see happen is the Sheriff's Department catch these losers. I want to get these guys behind bars." 

To celebrate the first night of Hanukkah the Seibert family had lit the Star of David hanging in their front yard. They also had dreidel projections. “We put it up and the next thing you know, I have swastika on the side of my house and brake fluid on the roof the car. I don’t understand why people can’t co-exists and be peaceful,” said Debbie Seibert.

According to authorities, besides the painted hate symbol they also discovered brake fluid on the roof of the family car.

Also on Monday night, ADL staff stood with the family at a community vigil. The Seiberts said the act of hate will not silence the tradition of their Jewish heritage. “The lights are on. I am not taking them down. They will be on for eight days,” said Debbie Seibert.

Frank Kenny knows Debbie Seibiert. They both work as school bus drivers. "this is really important. This reflects on the dignity and character of the community. It's not pretty. Whoever the brain dead morons are who decided to do something like this, it's totally unacceptable. It's despicable." 

Regional Director Tammy Gillies reinforced that support Tuesday, stating that, "We hope this reward encourages people to report whatever they may know about whomever is behind this hateful act of vandalism. We commend the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for its swift and thorough approach to this investigation, which is still ongoing. We cannot allow such acts of hate, or the prejudice which underlies them, to take place in San Diego County or anywhere else. No one should be targeted or made to feel like they don't belong simply because of their religion, race, skin color, country of origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

While it remains unclear if the suspect or suspects were juveniles, News 8 did reach out to Poway school district. Spokesperson Christine Paik told News 8 the school district had teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League for a "No Place for Hate" campaign at all high schools and middle schools. The campaign was launched this fall.

District Attorney Summer Stephan said she cannot comment on the Sheriff's investigation, but in a statement to News 8 said:

"There's absolutely no place for hate and intolerance in our communities. The District Attorney's Office has a specialized Hate Crimes Unit that is committed to prosecuting those who commit hate crimes and to supporting the victims of such crimes. All of us in the DA's Office stand by the Jewish community at this special time of Hanukkah and throughout the year."

The case is being investigated by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department as a hate crime. Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is encouraged to call the Department's Poway Station at (858) 513-2800.

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