Advertisement

Montreal police investigate hate crime after vehicles spray-painted

MONTREAL — Police officers were called to the scene of an underground parking garage on the corner of Cote-St-Luc Road and Hampton late Monday night.

Officers found five cars with spray-painted reversed swastikas on the hood, one with a broken windshield with a hatchet next to it, and several envelopes containing death threats.

“Well, there was a bullet in the envelopes, each envelope had a note saying, ‘You’re going to get one next in your head,'” said Sandra Benaim, who owns one of the five targeted vehicles.

Police are investigating the incident and told Global News it was being treated as a hate crime.

Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015. Global News
A cameraman shoots a swastika painted on one of several cars, Tuesday, February 24, 2015 in Montreal.
A cameraman shoots a swastika painted on one of several cars, Tuesday, February 24, 2015 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015. Global News
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015. Global News
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Residents of an apartment building in Montreal were shocked to find their cars spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Monday, February 23, 2015. Global News

“It is preoccupying,” said officer Adbdullah Emran.

“We need to let the investigation determine whether it’s a real case of a hate crime or if it’s young kids going into a garage and committing vandalism.”

Story continues below advertisement

Investigators spent much of the day searching for clues and they’re hoping a surveillance camera somewhere in the vicinity may have captured an image of the suspects.

The apartment building is in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood.

READ MOREOpposition against Jewish Defence League in Montreal growing

However, some were reluctant to jump to conclusions.

“I’m Jewish and three of the five cars that were vandalized are Jewish, so we can’t take it personally,” suggested Benaim.

“It looks like a bunch of skinheads who did this.”

Tweet This

But at least one Jewish rights group said it considers it a calculated attack on Montreal’s Jewish Community.

“This doesn’t smell like a group of teenage vandals,” insisted Rabbi Reuben Poupko from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

“In this scenario, when you have the swastika accompanied by threatening notes, a bullet, a hatchet, in a Jewish area, the common-sense conclusion is that this is a targeted threat to a specific community.”

READ MOREShots fired at Muslim school in NDG

Back in the building, residents were looking for answers and hoping the crime was just a tasteless prank.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’m hoping with everything else going on in the world now, it’s nothing more serious than just some punks!”