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Jewish grave vandalism in Mass. worse than initially thought, police say

Closer inspection of cemetery shows 59 tombstones marked with swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets; no arrests made

A defaced gravestone at a Jewish cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts, in a video published on March 20, 2019. (screen capture: Washington Post)
A defaced gravestone at a Jewish cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts, in a video published on March 20, 2019. (screen capture: Washington Post)

FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — Police say 59 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, about twice as many as initially thought.

Fall River police said Thursday in a Facebook post that they came up with the higher number after a row-by-row inspection of Hebrew Cemetery. Of those 59, two had been knocked over.

The stones were defaced with swastikas and phrases including “Expel the Jew” and “Hitler was right” in what appeared to be black marker.

Police were alerted on Sunday by a cemetery maintenance worker.

Police are treating it as a hate crime.

No arrests have been made and police say they have no suspects. The Herald News reported that rewards totaling $12,500 are being offered for information that leads to an arrest, including $10,000 given anonymously to Congregation Adas Israel, a city synagogue.

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