Irvine, Calif. – On Tuesday night, the Irvine City Council approved a motion by Mayor Don Wagner to contribute $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect who vandalized Beth Jacob Congregation last month. The reward matches the $5,000 reward offered previously by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), bringing the total to $10,000.
“I appreciate the reward offer from the ADL. The Council and I hope that, by the Irvine community doubling it, we will generate more leads while sending the clear message that we will not tolerate hate crimes,” said Irvine Mayor Don Wagner. “As I remarked at the City Council meeting last night, with this reward we say to the evil among us that if you do something to any of us, you do it to all of us, and we will come after you.”
On October 31 around 9 a.m., the Irvine Police Department received a report that an anti-Semitic comment had been spray painted along the exterior wall of Beth Jacob Congregation, 3900 Michelson Drive. The suspect was caught on surveillance video; however, the suspect’s identity was concealed. The crime occurred just days after 11 people were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The incident at Beth Jacob also followed recent anti-Semitic vandalism at Irvine Valley College.
On Nov. 2, a press conference at the Irvine Civic Center brought together religious and community leaders in a stand against hate and violence in our community. At the press conference, ADL offered the initial $5,000 reward.
To date, no suspects have been identified in the case. The Irvine Police Department continues frequent patrol checks at Beth Jacob Congregation and other Jewish facilities in the City.
“Someone out there knows the identity of this cowardly suspect,” said Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel. “It is my hope that the generous reward offered by the ADL and now the Irvine City Council will motivate a witness to come forward. Meanwhile, our detectives continue to aggressively investigate this malicious hate crime. We remain committed to bringing the suspect to justice.”
Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Irvine Police Department Detective Dave Tran at 949-724-7098 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A tip can also be submitted anonymously by calling Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.