WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) – Delaware State Police are investigating after a racist symbol was found spray-painted on several businesses, stop signs and billboards.

Wilmington police say at least four swastikas have been painted in the western part of the city from 11:30 pm on Friday night until 12:00 am on Saturday morning.

The vandalism was found on a billboard on Union Street near Pennsylvania Avenue, the Columbus Inn restaurant and some stop signs.

Investigators believe all the incidents are related.

“Any symbols of this kind really make the Jewish community worried and afraid of other acts of hatred in society,” said Jennifer Steinberg of the Delaware Jewish Federation. “Enough people know what the swastika means and can feel upset and threatened by this symbol.”

Hate crimes are on the rise in Delaware, increasing by 40% from 2020 to 2021, according to the Department of Justice.

The Anti-Defamation League says there have been 10 incidents in Delaware since early 2021, five of which involved the swastika.

“It really sends this message of intolerance and hatred to the whole community, and it’s important that we investigate and investigate the law enforcement agencies to find out as soon as possible,” said Andrei Goretsi, regional director of anti-slander. League in Philadelphia.

While police are trying to figure out who did it, one clue may be in the pictures. The symbol was painted incorrectly, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is often associated with the young man’s attempt to “shock” the graffiti.

“But the impact is still the same: to bring fear and terror into society,” Gorets said.

The Anti-Defamation League also noted the importance of reporting these incidents to them as well as the police.

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