Hartford Police have caught the culprits accused of destroying 90 to 95 gravestones at Jewish cemeteries.
Three young teenagers are believed to be responsible for causing more than $20,000 worth of damage.( Tue Nov 13 05:28:18 PST 2012 $__output )
Police started to investigate this case in mid-October and recently got a tip that three teens who live in the neighborhood committed the horrific crimes. The arrests were made over the weekend.
Dozens of headstones are still toppled over after the October crime spree at the Tower Avenue Jewish Cemeteries.
“They basically attacked the defenseless and the emotions of those survivors,” said Leonard Holtz. of Congregation Ados Israel. “(The arrests) don't lessen the pain for people who have had their monuments desecrated.”
Holtz had locked the gates for weeks to keep the suspects out, but visitors were still uneasy.
“It has taken away the feeling that you can go here with peace of mind,” Holtz said.
Hartford police said the vandals might have destroyed the sacred ground while they were using it as a shortcut to a nearby park.
“It's a crime that inflicts pain and suffering on other families,” Holtz said.
He said he wanted the vandals to be held accountable and to understand the damage here wasn’t just aesthetic.
“A cemetery should be a sacred place, holy ground. This should never happen,” Holtz said.
At first, police investigated this as a hate crime, but after talking to the teens, they said this was no longer the case. The names of the suspects will not be released.