EASTON/REDDING, Conn. -- Vandalism involving swastikas painted on stop signs has been reported in recent days is causing concern in Redding and Easton, according to police in both towns.
There were two incidents in Easton -- one on Sept. 9 and another on Sept. 10 on the North Street end of town, according to Easton Police Department Capt. Rich Doyle.
In Redding, all the vandalized signs were on the east side of town in the Sport Hill Road area. "Many were cleaned off before we knew about it," Redding Police Chief Doug Fuchs said.
Fuchs suspects young people are involved in the vandalism "based on timing and generally who does these types of vandalism," he said.
Fuchs explained that this is a serious issue on two levels.
"Not only is this a property crime which costs the towns a great deal of money and time to repair, but it is hateful and a sad commentary on what some might be thinking," Fuchs said. "I would imagine that those responsible probably do not truly understand the meaning behind the symbol."
Rabbi David Levy Reiner of Congregation Shir Shalom in Ridgefield said he is saddened and deeply troubled to hear about the vandalism.
"The public display of any symbol of hatred concerns me, especially swastikas in a community where many of our members reside," he said. "My heart goes out to everyone who saw these symbols of hatred, whether Jewish or not, and I will be reaching out to the members of our congregation to check in and offer support."
Reiner said he's hopeful that the community leaders and police officers in Redding and Easton will take this seriously as well, and address it in an appropriate manner.
"I am grateful to live in a nation where freedom of speech and expression are sacred standards and I also want to live in a community where hatred and bigotry are only words in history books.," Reiner said. "Whether this was an act of hatred, ignorance or intolerance, I am hopeful that we can come together as a community and respond as one to drown out the bigotry and ignorance in our midst."
According to Doyle, "our detectives are working with Redding Police Department's detectives on this case.
"People should be vigilant. If they see anything, they should give us a call."
Anyone with information can file an anonymous tip with the Easton Police Department at 203-268-4111 or with the Redding Police Department at 203-938-3400.