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Swastikas spray-painted on Aurora home; Police investigate bias-motivated crime

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Posted at 9:06 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-03 01:06:19-04

AURORA, Colo. -- A couple in Aurora is shaken after waking up early Friday morning to find swastikas spray-painted on their home. Police are now investigating the incident as a bias-motivated crime.

Sandy and Howard Wolf were woken up to the sound of a door knock at around 6 a.m. Friday. On the other side of the door was an officer with the Aurora Police Department, who had been called to the home after a neighbor reported seeing a large swastika spray-painted on their garage door and a smaller one on their mailbox. 

"My husband and I took a trip to Poland and Israel last year and we were in several concentration camps so it just really hit hard to see that on our home, such hatred," said Sandy Wolf. "We hear about lots of things but now it’s happened here.”

The couple says they have no idea why they were targeted, or how the vandal knew they were Jewish. 

"I was so stunned at first and I think I said something like, 'who could’ve done such a thing?'” said one of the Wolfs. "I started crying I was almost paralyzed, I would say.”

Howard Wolf, who has relatives that were killed in the Holocaust, said they're still trying to figure out why someone would target them specifically. 

"As the day has gone on I think that emotion is still there, but it has also been coupled with anger," he said. 

A relative of the Wolfs took to Facebook after finding out about the crime, saying she will take the incident and use to educate her daughters about what happened, hoping to turn anger into action. 

"We will talk about acceptance and love - not just tolerance but respect for and welcoming of others who are different from ourselves into our community. I ask you to do the same with the kids in your life," she said.

A 2016 Anti-Defamation League audit identified 29 cases of harassment and threats against Jewish people, 15 cases of vandalism and one physical assault on a Jewish individual here in Colorado. 

So far this year, there have been four reported cases where swastikas have popped up in Colorado. 

On January 3, State Rep. Jonathan Si found a Longmont park vandalized with swastikas. Days later, people who live near Glenmere Park in Greeley were shocked to find two swastikas traced into the snow on the park’s frozen lake. Then, on May 3, swastikas and other symbols of hate were found carved into cars near DU. That same week, firefighters found swastikas carved into a freshly poured concrete sidewalk in Westminster.

Police told Denver7 there is no suspect information at this time. They also said no other homes were targeted with vandalism overnight.

If you know anything about this bias-motivated crime, you are asked to call Agent Elswick at (303) 739-6708.