Girls admit to syrup swastikas, mother investigated


Three teenaged girls admitted to defacing a Northridge home with swastikas this week, but will not face criminal charges, according to investigators with the LAPD’s Devonshire Division. However, the mother of one girl could face a criminal charge for driving the girls to the scene.

“That is the direction of the investigation now, to find out whether or not the mother’s actions are criminal in nature,” LAPD Capt. Kris Pitcher said.

On Tuesday morning, April 3, a Northridge Jewish family awoke to find three swastikas and the word “Jew” written in maple syrup on their front walkway. The homeowner, who spoke with The Journal on condition of anonymity, said maple syrup also covered his front door as well as two cars parked in front of the home. Feces were also found near the home’s front door and toilet paper was strewn in the property’s trees.

A second nearby property was also defaced with toilet paper.

Police confirmed the three teenaged girls were responsible, but they could not be charged with a crime because the syrup, feces and toilet paper had caused no permanent damage.

“It was a very unfortunate incident, but it did not amount to a criminal act,” Devonshire Division’s Lt. Silva Atwater said.

Without a criminal charge, police also could not charge the girls with a hate crime.

“Hate crimes enhance the penalty for an already existing crime when it can be shown,” said Amanda Susskind, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The girls’ actions will instead be recorded as a “hate incident.”

“It goes down in the stats and everything else, however … there is no prosecution,” Pitcher said.

The three teenage girls obliged a police request to appear at the Northridge station on April 4. They admitted to defacing the homes, and they left the station later that afternoon, Atwater said.

An LAPD press release issued after the interviews describes the defacement as “an ill-advised prank.”

Whether the mother knew what the girls’ plan was is still being investigated, Pitcher said.

The homeowner, who had initially reported that his home was in Chatsworth, said the three girls were former friends of his teenage daughter and that they attend the same school.

“What it comes down to, these are three stupid kids doing a stupid act,” he said.

Northridge home defaced with swastikas


[UPDATE Apr. 10: Girls admit to syrup swastikas, mother could face charge]

[UPDATE Apr. 5: Girls admit to syrup swastikas, mother investigated]

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Devonshire Division is investigating the Tuesday morning vandalism of a Northridge home as a hate crime.

Three swastikas and the word “Jew” were written in maple syrup on the home’s front walkway. Feces were also found near the home’s front door and toilet paper was strewn in the property’s trees, according to the homeowner.

LAPD Sgt. Humberto Najera said the victim’s residence was hit with what appeared to be a prank, but police are investigating the incident as a hate crime and as an act of vandalism because the graffiti was anti-Semitic.

“We don’t treat these things lightly,” Najera said.

The incident took place sometime between midnight and 6:30 a.m. on April 3, according to the homeowner, who works out of a home office with a window that overlooks the front yard. He first noticed the toilet paper in a tree.

“I went outside to make sure there wasn’t additional damage, and when I opened up the door there was feces on the doorstep, maple syrup all over my door and on the doorstep and walking up to the door, two swastikas and the word ‘Jew’ and a third swastika,” said the homeowner, who spoke with The Journal on condition of anonymity.

The homeowner, the son of a Holocaust survivor, posted an image of the vandalism on Facebook. The photo has since gone viral.

The homeowner, a father, believes the incident could be related to three teenaged girls – former friends of his daughter.

He said that another house in the neighborhood, about three-quarters of a mile away, was vandalized with toilet paper around the same time. He added that his daughter is a friend of the daughter of the other victimized family.

The victims have not yet contacted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

“We’re always concerned when we see swastikas,” said ADL Senior Associate Director Alison Mayersohn, who planned to follow up with police officials Wednesday morning.

The homeowner described his neighborhood as ordinarily “very quiet,” and said he could not recall other incidents of anti-Semitism taking place in the area. He was, however, jolted by this incident.

“It’s 2012 and we’re still dealing with people hating Jews because we’re Jews,” he said.

+