RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police were searching Monday night for the vandals who damaged a menorah in Suffolk County.
A member of the county police Hate Crimes Unit officers discovered the damage to the 8-foot-tall menorah around 5:30 p.m. Monday at Raynor County Park, along Ronkonkoma Avenue in Ronkonkoma.
“It’s a hate crime or it’s vandalism. It’s just a shame,” a man who visits the park daily told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.
Police are investigating it as a possible hate crime. A decorated Christmas tree directly behind the menorah was not damaged, Xirinachs reported.
As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported, police said they cannot be sure with 100 percent certainty that vandals were to blame for the damage. But the type of damage they encountered indicated that someone took his or her time breaking the menorah apart and smashing its bulbs.
“Two of the arms supporting the lights supporting the lights were removed, and bulbs were taken, and bulbs were broken off the top of the menorah,” said Suffolk County police spokeswoman Miros Krupa.
One of the branches was seen lying on the ground, with its light still illuminated.
The menorah is displayed by the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber said the damage would cost about $2,000, and it would likely be unable to fix the menorah before Chanukah ends. But officials said they’re hoping to have the religious symbol repaired and fully functioning by Tuesday night.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit at (800) 220-TIPS. All calls will remain anonymous.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: