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Jackson police seeking suspects in incident of vandalism

JACKSON – Police are searching for the person or persons who defaced an abandoned home on Valley Road with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, and municipal officials have condemned the act.

Shortly before 3 p.m. April 30, police officers responded to Valley Road to investigate a report that anti-Semitic graffiti had been found on a home. The unoccupied/abandoned house was about 400 feet from the road on a wooded 10-acre parcel, according to police.

Police said the house was reportedly scheduled to be demolished later that week. They said the officers observed that the windows of the home had all been broken. Swastikas and the word “Hitler” had been spray-painted on the structure.

When the officers entered the home they discovered what was described as extensive damage, including damage to the sheetrock walls. Police said the interior walls had been spray-painted with derogatory remarks directed toward Jews and African-Americans.

A second abandoned structure on the property was not damaged.

Police said it is suspected the damage to the home occurred between April 19 and April 30. During a check of the neighborhood, a resident reported hearing noise in the area on the evening of April 29, but did not report the noise to police.

The incident is being investigated by Detective John Rodriguez. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 732-928-1111.

On May 2, Mayor Michael Reina and Township Council President Rob Nixon asked residents for assistance and addressed the vandalism. 

“In recent days a vacant home, which was slated for demolition, had been severely vandalized. The vandals destroyed all of the windows and spray-painted the interior and exterior of this dwelling with profanity, as well as racial and religious slurs. While this dwelling is currently being demolished, the vandalism cannot and will not be ignored.

“The governing body condemns all bias, discrimination and hateful acts against any individual, race, religion, creed, etc. These heinous acts attempt to incite nothing but unnecessary unrest and unlawful behavior and will not be tolerated nor accepted by the good people of Jackson. Jackson stands firm against this unacceptable type of behavior and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” Reina and Nixon said.

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