Police investigate after swastikas keyed on vehicles in Miami Beach

Cars vandalized near 28th Street, Prairie Avenue

By Paradise Afshar - Digital Editor, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Several vehicles in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Miami Beach were vandalized Sunday with swastikas, city police said. 

The Nazi symbol was keyed onto at least five vehicles that were parked near 28th Street and Prairie Avenue. 

"My wife actually found it," Doug Eaton said. "She was getting ready to go to the gym and found it and reported it." 

Eaton said he believes the hate symbol was intended to offend residents of the largely Jewish neighborhood.

Rabbi Mendy Levy lives across the street from where the vandalism happened. 

"This symbol represents the death of 6 million Jews and millions of other people during the Nazi regime," he said.

The act happened 48 hours after vandals targeted a synagogue in Sunny Isles Beach by spray-painting swastikas. 

"I think as a community and as Americans we have to come together," Levy said. "We all have to fight this. It's not a joke. It's not a joke."

Miami Beach police are investigating the incident.

In a news release Monday, Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said detectives believe the incidents are random acts and there is no evidence at this time that they are connected to the recent false bomb threats at JCCs in the area. 

Berthier said the city has partnered with the Anti-Defamation League and all six of the public schools in the area to continue its "No Place for Hate" program during the 2017-18 school year.

"Miami Beach is and will remain a respectful community for all," city manager Jimmy Morales said in a statement. "We are very concerned about what this says in our community. We would like to reassure our residents, especially our Jewish community, that we are actively working on this case and will not stop until we find out who did this."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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