Police in Beverly Hills are investigating a break-in and vandalism overnight at one of the city’s largest Iranian-Jewish synagogues as a hate crime.
The break-in happened around 2 a.m. Saturday at the Nessah synagogue on Rexford Drive, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department. The synagogue was closed for the rest of Shabbos and was expected to open back up on Sunday.
Several rooms inside the building were ransacked and Sifrei Torah and Seforim were damaged but the outside of the building didn’t suffer any severe damage. Police added that no markings or other signs of anti-Semitism were left by the suspect who was captured on security footage but it would still be investigated as a hate crime.
“This cowardly attack hits us at the heart of who we are as a community. It’s not just an attack on the Jewish community of Beverly Hills, it’s attack on all of us,” said Mayor John Mirisch.
The suspect is described as a white man in his early 20s with short dark curly hair. Surveillance video shows the suspect carrying a backpack and pulling a rolling suitcase.
Authorities also believe the suspect is responsible for several other acts of vandalism to nearby buildings.
Anyone with information with is asked to contact Beverly Hills police at (310) 285-2125.