200 Gravestones Desecrated With Swastikas in Illinois Cemetery

Local police say a 34-year-old suspect has been detained; probe looking into possible anti-Semitic background to act of vandalism

File photo: A swastika defacing public property.
AP

Some 200 gravestones were desecrated with swastika scrawls at a cemetery in the Illinois village of Glen Carbon, police told local media Sunday.

CNN News reported that a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion that he was involved in the act of vandalism.

Local police believe that the incident was perpetrated as an act of vandalism, but is also probing whether it was a hate crime, Police Lieutenant Wayne White said.

Police also stated that further information regarding the detained suspect's identity will be released after criminal charges are filed.

Homes in the neighboring city of Edwardsville were also vandalized with swastikas, U.S. media has reported.

More than 1,300 veterans are buried at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Glen Carbon. Officials began a rapid process to clean up the cemetery ahead of a memorial service that was slated to take place there the following day.

Similar acts of vandalism and anti-Semitism plagued cities such as Chicago, New York and Houston last year. Swastikas and Nazi slogans were scrawled on a subway car in New York; in Chicago, windows of a synagogue were smashed and a swastika was placed at its entrance.