Mar. 23, 2023 By Zachary Gewelb
Police are searching for the crook behind a recent spate of antisemitic vandalism in Forest Hills and Rego Park — which included the etching of a swastika into the front of an NYPD precinct — over a five-day span earlier this month.
The suspect, who is wanted in six incidents from March 18 through March 22, is believed to have struck first at the 112th Precinct.
Police say the crook, who has a dark complexion and slim build, used an unknown object to etch two swastikas into the cement in front the precinct — located at 68-40 Austin St. — at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.
Two days later, on Monday, March 20, at 9:21 p.m., he struck again — this time, near a Rego Park school. Two swastikas were found scrawled on the sidewalk and street outside of J.H.S. 157, located at 63-55 102nd St., according to police.
About 40 minutes later, the crook etched a swastika into the cement in front a residential building located at 110-11 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, according to authorities.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s office previously confirmed with QNS that the swastika was removed by police officers at the 112th Precinct.
The following morning, at approximately 9 a.m. on March 21, law enforcement sources said the suspect etched a swastika into the cement in front a residential building located at 112-20 72nd Dr. in Forest Hills.
Police say the crook struck again, in two separate incidents, on Wednesday, March 22.
First, just before 2 p.m., he allegedly approached the Reform Temple of Forest Hills, located at 71-11 112 St., and etched a swastika into the front of the building.
Less then two hours later, he approached a residential building located at 63-74 Austin St. and etched a swastika into the cement in front of building, police said.
The NYPD released photos of the suspect on March 23.
He was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt, gray sweatpants and sneakers.
Hevesi along with Rep. Grace Meng, Councilwoman Lynn Schulman, and Senators Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Leroy Comrie, issued a joint statement on Tuesday, March 21, condemning the antisemitic vandalism.
“Our local leaders and fellow neighbors will never become complacent in the face of such vile acts of hate,” the lawmakers said. “We remain strong in supporting one another, and condemn these acts of antisemitism and cowardice for what they are. Thank you to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for investigating, and our officers at the 112th Precinct for keeping us apprised. We remain confident that the perpetrators will be found and prosecuted, as they have been time and again.”
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls are strictly confidential.