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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Vandalism Accusations

October 13, 1987

An Orthodox Jew, described as eccentric and occasionally violent, may have been responsible for vandalizing five synagogues over the weekend, rabbis said.

Two rabbis described the man as a religious fanatic who lives on the streets and has a history of harassing congregations in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles.

Screenwriter Ned Teitelbaum said he saw the man leaving one of the damaged synagogues.

"I'm afraid to press charges," one rabbi said. "He'll take revenge on all of us. He could burn down the synagogue. He's an Orthodox madman. We're terrorized by him."

Windows were smashed and furniture overturned at five synagogues in the area late Friday or early Saturday. Police said Monday that they had not determined a motive and had made no arrests.

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