NEW: Image of suspect released. See here.
Chicago Police Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio tonight ordered police to pay special attention to all Jewish schools, synagogues, and businesses after an attempted arson in Lakeview and criminal damage to vehicles on the Far North Side.
As CWBChicago reported earlier, Chicago police and the FBI are investigating after an apparent arson attempt was made at a Lakeview synagogue late Saturday night or early Sunday, according to CPD and a letter from Rabbi David Wolkenfeld of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, 540 West Melrose. The building was not damaged, and no injuries were reported according to police and Wolkenfeld.
“The remains of several incendiary devices were found on the perimeter of our shul,” Wolkenfeld wrote. Security footage “revealed that an individual entered the shul parking lot shortly after midnight and attempted to commit an act of arson.”
Wolkenfeld said, “the police are not aware of any specific threat targeting our building or community.”
Three broken glass bottles that contained an unknown substance were recovered along with charred black cloth towels, according to Chicago police.
Detectives from Area North and CPD’s arson unit were on-scene for several hours Sunday collecting evidence and reviewing surveillance footage. CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted tonight that investigators have “good video evidence.”
Guglielmi also said tonight that police are investigating a pattern of cars having windows smashed outside of synagogues in the 24th (Rogers Park) Police District. The department earlier on Sunday issued an alert about vehicles having windows broken with bricks or rocks in the 24th and 20th (Lincoln) Police Districts. Guglielmi tonight confirmed that some of the crimes mentioned in the alert may be connected to nearby Jewish establishments.
The alert said a man or men wearing long hooded jackets, dark pants, and light colored gym shoes had broken windows of parked cars at the following locations and times:
1200 block of W. Arthur Ave. on May 1 at approximately 3:00 PM
7500 block of N. Ridge Blvd. on May 3-4 between 9:00 PM – 6:00 AM
4900 block of N. Marine Dr. on May 7-8 between 5:30 PM – 6:45 AM
7400 block of N. Sheridan Rd. on May 9-10 between 9:45 PM – 12:00 AM
1900 block of W. Lawrence Ave. on May 11-12 between 9:50 PM- 9:45 AM
1100 block of W. Columbia Ave. on May 12-13 between 2:00 PM- 7:30 AM
900 block of W. Carmen Ave. on May 14-15 between 6:00 PM – 7:50 AM
7100 block of N. Paulina St. on May 15-16 between 10:00 PM – 8:00 AM
2800 block of W. Chase Ave. on May 18 between 3:19 AM – 4:00 AM
2900 block of W. Sherwin Ave. on May 18 between 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM
7500 block of N. Rockwell St. on May 18 between 12:55 PM – 1:20 PM
2800 block of W. Touhy Ave. on May 18 between 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM
1000 block of W. Balmoral Ave. on 17-18 between 3:30 PM – 12:25 PM
2900 block of W. Jerome St. on May 18 at approximately 6:30 PM
Police believe different persons or groups are responsible for the Lakeview and Rogers Park crimes, Guglielmi said. He encouraged anyone with information about the incidents to submit tips anonymously via www.cpdtip com