MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – In Fort Lauderdale, Alan Tinter said he saw a bicyclist with a pouch who was distributing flyers with anti-Semitic messages. This man was not the only one. The same hateful flyers full of misinformation were distributed in other parts of the country.
Detectives from Broward to Miami-Dade County are assisting the FBI in the cases. Miami Beach detectives linked the flyer to a van spotted in another area of Florida.
According to Surfside police, the flyers in their city have been found in various locations, including in residential areas along Carlyle Avenue and Biscaya Drive.
“I’m kind of surprised that somebody has that kind of passion about spreading this material,” Surfside resident Mark Peymer said.
The disturbing and hate-filled flyer was found over the weekend at dozens of homes across South Florida.
“We heard that all over, my children live around here. Everybody got it,” Surfside resident Jeanne Rosen said.
Rosen says someone left a bag with rocks and a note in her front yard early Sunday morning.
She said police checked her surveillance footage, but it was too dark outside to see anything clearly.
Residents in Miami Beach also reported waking up early Sunday to find the hate-filled flyers littering their lawns.
Paul Buechele lives on West 62nd Street in the Mid-Beach area.
“I took one look at it, and I just threw it away,” he said.
Inside the bag was a propaganda-filled flyer featuring anti-Semitic tropes and misinformation about COVID-19.
But Buechele wasn’t the only one to receive the flyer.
Local 10 News also heard from several neighbors in the Mid and North Beach areas who said they received the very same letter, and are now worried.
“We’ve lived here for over 26 years, and this is the first time ever that anything like that’s happened,” a Miami Beach resident identified only as Cheri said.
The resident captured what she believes is surveillance video showing the bags being thrown onto her lawn.
The video shows a slow moving car and then what sounds like rocks hitting the ground.
“I couldn’t believe what was in there,” another resident, Teig Lawrence, said.
More than a mile away, residents along Daytonia Road found another flyer.
“It’s really sad that people distribute this hate literature. I’m disappointed,” Albert Crespo said.
Miami Beach police said they’re aware of the flyers, tweeting, “Detectives are actively investigating to determine their origin. We have increased patrols in our neighborhoods and at our religious institutions.”
“To think that someone took the time to go around (and) drop a flyer at every house in Miami Beach is just like -- you know -- it’s terrible,” Lawrence said.
Anyone with information about who created the flyers is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.