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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Driveway of Jewish home, sidewalks painted with swastikas in Chevy Chase

Police are searching for the person who spray painted swastikas on a Chevy Chase sidewalk and the driveway of a Jewish family that lives in the town.

Town residents reported the symbols on a sidewalk in the 7100 block of 44th Street and on a driveway in the 4400 block of Leland Street, as well as graffiti on a car in the 7100 block of 44th Street on the morning of Nov. 17, said Cpl. Daniel Friz, of the Montgomery County Police Department.

As of Monday, police did not have any suspects and had not made any arrests related to the vandalism.

"I'm really shocked and upset and disappointed," said Kathy Strom, the town's vice mayor. "It makes no sense to me whatsoever."

Strom said she had never heard of a similar incident in the town during the 20 years she has lived there.

Police do not know if the vandal knew the Jewish family, Friz said.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Charges could include malicious destruction of property and hate-based malicious destruction of property, both misdemeanors, Friz said.

Police believe the incident to be isolated.

The most recent hate-based crime against a Jewish-owned property occurred in July, when a 23-year-old man vandalized B'nai Shalom in Olney, Friz said.

The Town of Chevy Chase has since power washed the sidewalk and driveway.

Anyone with information about this crime should call Montgomery County police at 301-279-8000.

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