Police: Largely Jewish fraternity at Penn State targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism

mcarroll@centredaily.comNovember 8, 2013 

— Police say a predominately Jewish fraternity was the target of anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas that were spray-painted on a dozen cars Thursday night or Friday morning in State College.

The 12 vehicles were parked behind the Delta Sigma Phi and Beta Sigma Beta fraternities on the 400 and 500 blocks of Berry Alley.

They were discovered to have been vandalized around 8 a.m Friday.

Police said that many of the derogatory remarks were targeted toward Beta Sigma Beta.

“We are more worried about the message,” said State College police Lt. Keith Robb. “The vandalism is bad enough, but we want to investigate a predominately Jewish frat (targeted) with that kind of message.”

In addition to the anti-Semitic messages were crude sexual pictures and phrases.

A garage and a Dumpster in the area also were spray-painted.

Robb said police have noticed an uptick of vandalism of fraternities this semester.

Officers are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a storage shed on another fraternity’s property last week.

Police said the fire at Alpha Gamma Rho, 322 Fraternity Row, was “suspicious” and that a cushioned chair was placed near the shed and used to ignite the blaze. When police arrived, they found the storage shed on fire.

A fraternity member reportedly saw three men in the vicinity of the shed right before the fire was discovered. Police described the men as white and of college age.

The fire was set in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, the same time frame and exactly one week before the latest vandalism.

Police said there is no evidence that the two incidents are connected. But they said they are taking both seriously.

Robb said that police heavily patrol the area around the fraternities, and will continue to do so. He also asked members of the Greek community to call police if they see vandalism.

Anyone who witnessed the vandalism or who has any information about the case can contact State College Police at 234-7150 or by submitting an anonymous tip online at http://www.statecollegepa.us/police.

Police are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crimes.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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