Man in LA arrested for tearing off Orthodox women’s wigs
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Man in LA arrested for tearing off Orthodox women’s wigs

Los Angeles police treating case as a potential hate crime, say suspect apparently ‘targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs’

An illustrative photo of a wig shop in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak on June 12, 2008. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
An illustrative photo of a wig shop in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak on June 12, 2008. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Los Angeles police have arrested a man who they say has been snatching wigs off the heads of Orthodox Jewish women in North Hollywood.

Police believe the man targeted the women because of their faith and are investigating it as a hate crime. He was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Sherman Oaks, California.

Two of the incidents took place in September and one earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One of the incidents took place on Yom Kippur. The man grabbed a wig off the head of an 80-year-old woman, smiled and handed it back to her, police told the newspaper. Later that same day he ripped the wig off the head of a 36-year-old woman.

On Tuesday, the suspect, who has not been identified, pulled the wig off a 58-year-old woman, apologized in what police called a “sarcastic manner” and threw the wig on the ground, according to the newspaper.

Police believe there may have been other unreported incidents.

“The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs. Orthodox Jewish women often wear wigs, scarfs or hats to cover their hair as a symbol of modesty,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

One of the incidents was caught by a surveillance camera.

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