Vandalism using anarchy symbol investigated as hate crime in Berkeley
BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - Berkeley police are investigating a wave of graffiti on cars and homes in one neighborhood south of the UC Berkeley campus.
Police say there were 35 incidents of spray-painted graffiti including 17 cars with slashed tires in the area of Hillside Avenue and Prospect Street.
They are investigating it as a hate crime.
"30-plus in a 6-12-hour period is significant," said Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel.
Police say it all happened overnight on June 27.
One of the victims had "f--- you" spray-painted on his Jeep.
"It's unfortunate these types of vandalism are occurring. But I’m not surprised given the environment around Berkeley, given the militant anti-social behavior becoming accepted," said the victim who did not want to be identified.
Police say they believe all the vandalism is connected to the same person or persons.
Some of the other messages contained the anarchist symbol like the others said "f---white people" and "f---the cops."
In all the instances it shows there is a certain level of discontent with one or more folks. These instances have risen to a level of a hate crime," said Frankel.
The area where it happened is near the Cal football stadium. It includes single family homes and student housing including sororities and fraternities.
Some neighbors say it is unnerving.
"It is unsettling, makes me nervous. You worry about going out late at night, who you are going to bump into. Are these people violent? So far it's been property vandalism, but I don't know," said Phil Lane, who was not a victim.
We asked the owner of this car, tagged with the f-word, why he hasn't had his car re-painted, like most of his neighbors.
"I'm going to leave it there for a while. It's unlikely to get tagged again," he said.
Police are asking the public for help if anyone saw anything suspicious or has any video, investigators would appreciate a call at 510-981-5737.