Reward in vandalism on Alabama synagogue, Jewish center

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Almost $20,000 in rewards are being offered for information about vandalism last year on a north Alabama synagogue and Jewish center that were painted with anti-Semitic graffiti, authorities said Thursday.

Police hope the money will lead to arrests in the attacks on Etz Chayim Synagogue and Chabad of Huntsville, which were vandalized on back-to-back nights in April.

Surveillance camera footage indicated the same person was responsible for both incidents, authorities said. The individual, who walked with a pronounced limp and appeared to have a prosthetic left leg, may have been driving a light-colored, older Toyota Prius, news outlets reported after a news conference by local law enforcement and the FBI.

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray said investigators have a person of interest, who wasn't identified during the briefing.

“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,” said McMurray.

The first incident occurred at Etz Chayim, which was desecrated at the start of Passover. Photos showed at least two Nazi symbols on the exterior of the building along with anti-Jewish slurs. Similar graffiti was found the following night at Chabad.

The FBI provided $15,000 in reward money and the Anti-Defamation League put up $2,000. Huntsville Area Crime Stoppers offered the remaining $1,000.