Chicago police investigating attempted arson, vandalism near synagogues

CHICAGO — Chicago police increased patrols near Jewish schools, synagogues and businesses Sunday following an attempted arson and multiple instances of vandalism at two separate synagogues over the weekend.

Police say the attempted arson took place shortly after midnight Sunday at the Anshe Sholom synagogue in Lakeview. Rabbi David Wolkenfeld said police found three broken bottles containing an unknown substance and charred black towels outside the synagogue.

There’s no damage to the building and no injuries were reported, but police are taking the incident very seriously. They’ve teamed up with the FBI and are diligently working to get to the bottom of what happened.

Wolkenfeld said surveillance video shows a man attempting to commit the act of arson in their parking lot, but the video has not yet been released to the public.

Police are also investigating vandalism outside a Rogers Park synagogue, where they say someone smashed windows of four cars parked nearby in a separate incident. According to police reports, the windows were smashed sometime between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Saturday. According to police, they have two different suspects in these cases.

Police are not aware of any specific threats, but they are taking precautions. CPD Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio ordered "special attention" at all Jewish schools, synagogues and businesses, according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

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