Man caught on camera vandalizing Miami Beach synagogue

Incident reported March 1 at Temple Moses

By Michael Seiden - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Miami Beach police are searching for a man who was captured on surveillance video early this month vandalizing security cameras at a synagogue.

The incident was reported March 1 at Temple Moses at 1200 Normandy Drive.

Some people in the Miami Beach Jewish community told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden that they believe the man targeted the synagogue because he has a problem with the Jewish faith.

After reviewing the synagogue’s surveillance system, police identified the man as Paul Bodner.

Bodner, a former student at Miami Beach High School, was last seen walking down Normandy Drive in the early-morning hours of March 1. 

Police said he has a distinct limp.

Surveillance video shows the moment Bodner arrived at the synagogue. 

At first, he hesitated. Then, he realized he was being recorded, but instead of running, he started to climb and reach for the camera.

After multiple attempts, Bodner finally ripped the camera off the wall, police said. 

The next day, leaders of the synagogue turned the footage over to police, thinking the vandalism might be a case of anti-Semitism.

"As a community, if you want to keep these problems away from where we worship and where we go to school, if we don't say anything, nothing is going to happen," Zalman Myer-Smth, who is the head of security for Chabad of Florida, said. 

Detectives are calling the incident a burglary investigation and are asking for the community's help in finding Bodner before he strikes again.

According to court records, Bodner has a past criminal record consisting of multiple arrests on drug and burglary charges.

Anyone with information about Bodner's whereabouts is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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