Fiery Theft at 'Temple Israel of Hollywood' Marks Second L.A. Synagogue Attack This April
Updated after the jump: Another transient is wanted for setting the Hollywood synagogue on fire.
Suspected synagogue bomber Ron Hirsch may be behind bars after allegedly planting a homemade explosive device in the Chabad House of Santa Monica, but the scares continue to roll in for the vast Los Angeles Jewish community this month:
The Temple Israel of Hollywood, located at 7300 Hollywood Boulevard, was targeted by a thief this morning, according to City News Service.
The LAPD was called at 9 a.m. when synagogue workers arrived at the Temple -- only to find a small fire and
missing property evidence of a break-in at its attached school.
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The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are reportedly on the investigation as well.
The Los Angeles Times reports a "heavy LAPD presence" currently at the scene:
LAPD Capt. Beatrice Girmala, who oversees the department's Hollywood Division and was at the synagogue, said in a brief phone interview that the heavy response was made out of an abundance of caution.
"Because it is a house of worship, we're taking every precaution to be sure we know we are not underplaying the situation," she said. Girmala declined to provide further details of the unfolding incident, saying police were currently sweeping the synagogue's large campus, which includes a school.
"There was a small fire in one of the school rooms," LAPD spokeswoman Diana Soukounian confirms to the Weekly. "And LAPD officers are investigating the burglary."
Los Angeles Times
The Jewish Journal reassures readers that no evidence of any kind of bomb has turned up on the premises. Just some interruptions to the synagogue's schedule:
The TIOH building was closed this morning. The spring pageant, which had been scheduled to take place today, was cancelled, witnesses said.
Update: The Times' police "sources" tell them that the suspect is believed to be another homeless man in his 20s who "frequents the area." (Strangely similar to the Santa Monica story.)
The suspect reportedly "broke into the temple, collected several items, placed them on a desk and set them on fire using a candle." Observe his "Wanted" poster, right.
KTLA says there may have also been a suspicious package planted in the elementary school:
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