Police in Stoneham are investigating after “pieces of paper cut into the shape of swastikas” were allegedly found at the home of a Jewish family Tuesday, officials said.
Police responded to a home on Whittemore Lane at 8:46 a.m. for a report of vandalism, according to a statement from Stoneham Police Chief James McIntyre.
“Upon arrival, officers initiated an on-scene investigation through which they determined that several paper swastikas with hateful language were left on the victim’s property,” police said.
Police said that they are conducting an “aggressive” investigation and detectives do not believe the incident was random. The Anti-Defamation League New England’s leadership team will support police and the community during the investigation, officials said.
“There is no place for this kind of hate and bigotry in our community,” McIntyre said in the statement. “Our detectives are committed to a full and thorough investigation, including any possible criminal charges against the party responsible.”
In a statement on Twitter, the ADL New England identified the family as Jewish and said the Middlesex district attorney’s office is involved in the investigation.
The statement said the swastikas were found on the steps of the home.
“The swastikas found on the steps of a Jewish family’s home in Stoneham this morning is a very personal kind of hate at a time when the Jewish community is feeling vulnerable,” said Peggy Shukur, the organization’s interim regional director, in the statement. “Placement of a swastika on the steps of a home has the effect of shattering an entire community’s sense of security.”
Swastikas found on the steps of a Jewish family's home in Stoneham this AM is a very personal kind of hate at a time when the Jewish community is feeling vulnerable. This has the effect of shattering an entire community's sense of security. Our statement: pic.twitter.com/tRO3ZpVGLY— ADL New England (@ADL_NewEngland) November 1, 2022
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Stoneham police detectives at 781-438-1215.
Matt Yan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @matt_yan12.