Oakland police offer reward in hate crime attack at Greek Church

Investigators now suspect there may be more than one suspect in a graffiti hate crime Sunday at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in the Oakland hills where a swastika, profanity and racial slurs were spray painted on walls and grounds.
That is among the leads that investigators are following, but there have been no arrests, Oakland police Lt. James Meeks said Thursday. He would not say why police now believe more than one person may have been involved.
But Meeks stressed police still need the public’s help in identifying suspects. To help stimulate tips, police are offering as much as $5,000 in reward money for information leading to arrests. He said anyone who may have seen something suspicious or out of the ordinary at the cathedral, no matter how small, should contact police.
Meeks said defaming anyone’s property is “unacceptable, but when it is a house of worship that makes it even worse.”
Meeks said police have been in contact with the FBI to see if there have been any similar attacks on places or worship. The offensive, hateful taggings have been removed and police are still analyzing photos of them. Meeks said police believe the tagging happened between late Saturday night and Sunday morning when they were discovered by worshipers preparing for Palm Sunday services at the cathedral at 4700 Lincoln Ave.
George Polyzos, parish council president, said the offering of a reward was “great. We’re veryhappy to see they are taking it so seriously. We hope it doesn’t happen again to our church or other churches in the area.”
Officials at the cathedral have previously said they plan to increase security by possibly adding a guard, gates and cameras.
Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Rebecca Campbell at 510 238-3426 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
(source: inside bay area)