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Antisemitic graffiti found at Century Village in West Boca

Swastika spray-painted on side of building
Posted at 7:59 PM, Feb 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-26 10:04:22-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is urging people of the Jewish community to be vigilant and aware this weekend.

This is after they say hate groups have declared Saturday as National Day of Hate that appears to be targeting the Jewish community, with at least one report of antisemitism in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office confirms that a swastika was spray-painted on the side of Fanshaw J building in Century Village in West Boca.

Neighbors tell WPTV it's in the area by a directory and mailboxes.

PBSO sent personnel to the scene but spokeswoman Teri Barbera there was no surveillance cameras in the area.

The security director of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Alan Poland, is urging everyone to be on the lookout and report any suspicious activity.

"In the last few years we've seen an increase in this type of rhetoric and one of the things that we have to remember is that at this point we are really talking about hate that moves at the speed of social media," Poland said. "We need to understand that our community is prepared. Because we can't choose the time and place of the next act of hate, but we can choose our level of preparedness."

Boca Raton Police say they are increasing security, not just at synogogues but at every religious institution in the city.

The Indian River County Sheriff's Office says they have increased patrol in requested areas

FDLE released a message leading up to Saturday addressing National Day of Hate:

"In response to the recent harassment against Florida’s Jewish and faith-based communities by hate groups, and seeing coordinated efforts from a “National Day of Hate,” the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida’s Fusion Center has distributed a statewide bulletin and is actively coordinating and increasing law enforcement presence to ensure any individual or group who criminally harasses or threatens violence against Florida’s faith-based community will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. While there are currently no known threats or protests planned in Florida over the weekend, there have been recent acts of violence toward the Jewish community, and we ask our citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activity. FDLE is in constant coordination and communication with local law enforcement and will have a presence across the state to reinforce local law enforcement efforts.

"Report suspicious activity to 855-FLA-SAFE or your local law enforcement agency. In an emergency, call 911."

"FDLE and our law enforcement partners across Florida are on full alert to ensure our communities are protected. FDLE will use the full weight of Florida law to ensure the safety of our Jewish and all faith-based communities against these hate groups."