Wilmette Police Chief Brian King said Tuesday that the discovery of a swastika painted in blood outside Wilmette’s Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah, at 3220 Big Tree Lane, is being investigated as a hate crime.
A Beth Hillel official told police Oct. 13 that a member of the congregation found the swastika, with a circle drawn around it, painted on the sidewalk in front of the synagogue. The official said many congregation members were going in and out of the synagogue at the time. Oct. 12,13 and 14 mark the Jewish religious festival of Sukkot this year.
The official said he hadn’t seen the swastika when he left the building the previous afternoon, but did notice two young teenage boys come into the parking lot as he was leaving. He said they sat down close to where it was later discovered, but only stayed there a few moments before leaving.
King said the material used to draw the swastika was tested and found to be blood. The report didn’t indicate what type of blood might have been used.
A member of the synagogue’s security staff told police she had checked the rest of the building and had found no more damage.
Police will be checking the synagogue’s security camera footage as the investigation continues.