Westford Police investigating ‘hate crime’ after dozens of spots vandalized

Westford Police investigating 'hate crime' after dozens of spots vandalized

WESTFORD, Mass. — When Rohit Rajiv walked out of his home Thursday morning, his mailbox was in pieces.

“It looked like a baseball bat [or] a car [hit it]. It was smashed completely,” Rajiv said.

Rajiv later learned his house is just one of two dozen spots in Westford targeted by vandals in recent days.

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At least 26 locations have been damaged in the last ten days, according to investigators. The vandalism often involves offensive language and religious symbols, including swastikas and the Star of David, spray-painted on signs, fences and garage doors.

“It is anti-Semitic in nature so we’re treating it as a hate crime,” Deputy Chief Mark Chambers said.

Chambers said the vandalism started July 19 and happened in three areas of Westford.

Investigators released this Ring home surveillance video that shows one suspect in a blue t-shirt and face mask.

Chambers said they don’t know if the vandalism is the work of one person or a group.

Across the street from Rajiv, someone spray-painted the Star of David on William Azer’s fence.

“I hope it’s somebody who doesn’t understand what they did,” Azer said. “You know, I hope it’s young kids, just with bored time.”

Rajiv also hopes it’s bored teens and not adults trying to spread messages of hate.

“It’s frustrating, you say they could be investigating as a hate crime, but to be honest, it could be just mindless teenagers,” Rajiv said.

The Westford Police Department is asking residents to review home surveillance video and contact investigators if they think they can help.

If you have any information that could help authorities, you are asked to contact Westford Police at 978-692-2161 or submit an anonymous tip here.