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Fifteen symbols of hate spray-painted in South Bend over holiday

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Swastikas and racial slurs are becoming a part of South Bend's growing graffiti problem.

ABC57 News reported last week, about a swastika drawn on a Jewish man's car. South Bend Police say it wasn't the only one. 

Since July 4, there have been approximately 15 instances of either racial slurs or swastikas spray painted on personal property. 

"It's obviously a senseless destruction of property, but also to express their opinion like that, by racial means, is totally unacceptable," says Capt. Noonan with South Bend Police. 

The symbols of hate have been painted on the sides of buildings, cars, and garages all across the area. 

"Words against African-Americans, and then also the Nazi swastikas that have been placed on buildings and cars," describes Capt. Noonan. "I don't think their targeting anyone in particular. I think it's just a crime of opportunity."

Neighbors tell ABC57 that at least two of the cars that had swastikas on them, were owned by Jewish neighbors.

Although several of the locations of crime are close together, the spray paint does seem to be spreading.

It's something investigators haven't really seen before, to this extent. 

"It's happened on different sides of town, it's not isolated to just one side of town. They do tend to do more than on vehicle or buildingin the same area," adds Capt. Noonan. "Not where it continuously happens over and over again. 

Police do believe this vandalism is being done by the same person, or same group of people. They're hoping with amped up patrols overnight, this spray painting spree will end. 

"If [anyone] sees anything suspicious in their area or anyone near someone else's property or car, give us a call," says Capt. Noonan.

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