A county supervisor said Friday she will ask her colleagues to approve a $10,000 reward in hopes of determining — and prosecuting — whoever burned swastikas on a residential lawn and a nearby street in San Dimas.
The incidents occurred sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning, authorities said.
Homeowner Ted Ferris told the Los Angeles Times that he knew immediately what the symbols were when he looked out at the synthetic grass in front yard of his home in the 1400 block of Greenhaven Street and saw the two 3-foot-high swastikas.
Authorities say the same person or group is thought to have also burned two other swastikas on the pavement of West Tudor Street, about a block from Ferris’ home.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she will introduce a reward motion next week for the full board to consider.
Ferris, who is not Jewish, said he was puzzled why anyone would vandalize his yard in such a manner. He and his family have lived in the home for 34 years.
Sgt. Peter Shupe of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s San Dimas station said that because Ferris isn’t Jewish, authorities weren’t investigating the act as a hate crime, but a felony vandalism report had been taken.
Shupe said it was probably teenagers “just being little jerks.”
Regardless, the reported uptick in swastika graffiti across the country is worrisome to local Jewish and anti-hate leaders.
Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, said that not only is the frequency of reports of swastika graffiti concerning, but so is the cavalier nature of vandals defacing a range of places with the symbol.
In January, a group of students at an Ojai middle school lay down in a field, forming the shape of a swastika.
Last month, students in Newport Beach made national headlines when they were seen posing around a swastika made of plastic cups, some with their arms raised in a Nazi salute.
The Anti-Defamation League found the number of anti-Semitic incidents rose 57 percent in the United States in 2017.
“There’s no other symbol like it,” Moss said. “What symbol exists that evokes that kind of hatred and fear, and provocation, as well? As the executive director of the Jewish Federation in this area, I’m always concerned when I hear there are swastikas, no matter where they are.”
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Galbraith at (909) 450-2700.