LAPD receives report of swastika graffiti

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department received a report about graffiti consisting of several swastikas spraypainted onto on a wall in an alleyway outside a Los Angeles home.

An LAPD spokesman said the incident is being considered “vandalism and a hate crime.” No suspect has been identified, but the LAPD is still investigating, the spokesman said, The wall is located at Beverly Blvd. and Formosa Ave., behind the New Beverly Cinema.

Three swastikas were also spray painted onto the rear wall of the New Beverly Cinema, across the alley.

The homeowner, who considers himself an active member of the Jewish community, asked not to be identified. He was out of town when the crime occurred, and a neighbor called him to tell him about it.

Rabbi Meyer May, executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, helped notify authorities about the graffiti. May said he did not rule out the possibility of a connection between the crime and rising tensions between Jews and the rest of the world in the aftermath of the recent Israeli-Turkish flotilla crisis.

“Whenever there’s an increase in activity regarding Israel, it’s an inevitable reaction here by anti-Semites to come out and express their anger,” May said.

Despite the presence of three synagogues within one block of the graffiti site, the homeowner believes the motive behind the graffiti may not be anti-Semitic. There “a lot of people who party in that alley,” the homeowner said. “You have graffiti there all the time.”