LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Beverly Hills Police Department made an arrest Wednesday in connection with the vandalism at an Nessah Synagogue this past Saturday.
The suspect, 24-year-old Anton Nathaniel Redding of Millersville, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged with vandalism of a religious property and commercial burglary. The charges include a penalty enhancement for a hate crime.
Redding was located in Hawaii and was being held in custody without bail until an extradition hearing to authorize his transfer back to California has been held.
“I said we would catch this guy, and we did,” Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch said in a statement. “The criminal who we believe desecrated a holy place on Shabbat is now in custody thanks to the superb work of the Beverly Hills Police Department.”
Major Crimes Division detectives continued to look into a possible connection between the vandalism that occurred at a Nessah Synagogue and the spray-painting of two dozen vehicles in Calabasas between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
In recently released video footage, a person of interest wearing a red hoodie could be seen exiting a gray or silver sedan.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, between 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 9 a.m. Dec. 15, numerous vehicles were spray-painted with graffiti in the Beverlywood and Pico-Robertson areas.
On Monday around 9 p.m., three Jewish schools along the 15000 block of Mulholland Drive were vandalized with spray paint.
The same night between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., more vehicles were vandalized “in a similar manner near the Brentwood and Westwood communities of Los Angeles,” an LAPD statement said.
According to LAist.com, anti-Semitic graffiti was found Tuesday on the Bel Air campus of American Jewish University, at Westwood Charter School, and at one other school on the Westside.
Signs saying “Yahawashi Is Coming” also appeared near a kosher market in the 400 block of La Brea Boulevard earlier in the week.
“This is cause for further investigation and hopefully some clarity into as to who indeed is trespassing in this way,” said Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee Richard Hirschhaut.
The signs sparked fear for some in the community following the deadly attack at a Jersey City market last week.
“There have been pockets and clusters of an organization called the Black Hebrew Israelites in some of the larger cities and urban areas across the United States. Whether or not there is any link whatsoever to those who are propagating this message and promoting these flyers versus the horrific attack in Jersey City is something that we simply do not know,” Hirschhaut said.
Leaders from the Jewish community said it was important to unite when hatred arises during a town hall meeting held Wednesday night.
“We will not sit on our hands,” Hirschhaut said at the meeting. “We will not cower in fear, but we will respond as a community that cares for its neighbors.”
But fear did not stop community members from joining the mayor at City Hall for the annual menorah lighting where he spoke briefly on the increase in anti-Semitic crimes.
“An attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Enough is enough is enough. I don’t just say this as a Jew, but as an American. We have to figure out a way to be one nation.”
Anyone with information regarding the crimes in Los Angeles was urged to call Major Crimes Division Detective B. Banachowski or Detective E. Hurd at 213-486-7220. After hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 877-LAPD-24-7.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)