The Slatest

Swastikas Spray-Painted on More Than 200 Headstones at Illinois Cemetery

A screenshot shows headstones at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois on May 26, 2018.
A screenshot shows headstones at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois on May 26, 2018.
Screenshot/KSDK

At least one vandal spray-painted swastikas on more than 200 headstones at a cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois. At least nine homes and one vehicle in a nearby neighborhood were also vandalized with Swastikas. “We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude in the 30 years that I’ve been here,” Mark Johnson, the grounds superintendent of Sunset Hill Cemetery, told local CBS affiliate KMOV. Officials say they are working to try and wash away all the swastikas before Monday, when a Memorial Day event was planned to honor the more than 1,300 veterans who are buried there.

One of the homes that was vandalized captured a possible suspect on surveillance video. Police released the video and later in the day said they had arrested a 34-year-old suspect.

This type of swastika vandalism is more common than many people realize and came mere days after a teenager was sentenced to six months in jail for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in upstate New York. In another instance of swastika vandalism, four high school students in Maryland were arrested on Thursday and charged with hate crimes after they reportedly spray-painted swastikas and other racist graffiti at Glenelg High School.