The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who spray-painted swastikas on a Jewish temple.
Surveillance images released Friday showed a young white male vandalizing Temple Emanu-El, which is at 151 McIntosh Rd.
According to the sheriff’s department, the vandal caused approximately $5,000 in damages.
Authorities believe the suspect is likely between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 1 inches tall, and was wearing a dark baseball cap, a short-sleeved button-up shirt, blue jeans and flip flops when he spray-painted the temple. He is also clean shaven.
If you have any information about the suspect, authorities are asking that you call the sheriff's office criminal investigations section at (941) 861-4900 or (941) 861-4928.
A 2019 study from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, showed that from 2017-2018, Florida registered 197 incidents from extremist groups, 98 of which involved acts of anti-Semitism. Tampa alone was responsible for 22 of those incidents.
Last January, swastikas and other graffiti were discovered spray-painted on signs at a coffee shop in South Tampa, and last June two teenagers were arrested in connection with a swastika that was spray-painted in the parking garage of the Bayshore Regency Condominiums, which is less than one mile from the Jewish Community Center Preschool of South Tampa.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.