FBI offering reward in Huntsville synagogue vandalism case


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The FBI is providing a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person who vandalized a Huntsville synagogue and a rabbi’s home last year.

That money is in addition to $1,000 from Huntsville Area Crime Stoppers and $2,000 from the Anti-Defamation League.

“The crimes committed by this individual have impacted this community, and we need your help to bring the person responsible to justice,” said FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.

No arrests have been made since the April 9 vandalism of the Etz Chayim Synagogue on Bailey Cove Road, where anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed, including swastikas. The next day, the Chabad of Huntsville on Parkhill Road was sprayed with similar graffiti. Authorities said surveillance video indicates the same person is responsible for both.

The person has a distinct limp and appears to have a prosthetic left leg, authorities said. The person may have been driving a light-colored, early model Toyota Prius. Authorities said the same person was seen walking on streets near the Chabad of Huntsville in the Blossomwood neighborhood on April 4

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray said they have persons of interest in the case, but they’re working to put together all the pieces of the puzzle and build a solid case. They’re hoping tips will help solidify their case.

“We really believe that enough time has transpired by now that these offender or offenders have said something, maybe even bragged about it to somebody, maybe have committed this graffiti somewhere else,” McMurray said. “And so if you know of anybody or have a tip, please call and let us know, because it could be worth up to $18,000 for you.”

The FBI also is ramping up its campaign to find the vandal by using digital billboards across North Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the incidents themselves can contact the FBI at 256-539-1711 or the Huntsville Police Department at 256-427-7009. Tips can also be submitted to the FBI online.

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