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Racine Synagogue Attack Was Part of a Plot That Originated in New Jersey

Nov. 17, 2019 7:55p

(WGTD)---A spray-paint attack on a synagogue in Racine in September apparently was part of coordinated effort orchestrated by a New Jersey teenager.

18-year-old Richard Tobin was arrested last week after purportedly admitting to recruiting help on a neo-Nazi social network.

Swastikas and other images were spray-painted on the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation on Washington Ave. in Racine, and on a synagogue in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Authorities haven’t said any more about their investigation, including just who carried out the attacks.

"I'm glad they caught him," said Joyce Placzkowski, president of the Racine congregation. "I never thought they were going to catch who did this because I thought this was an isolated act by just some people who are not happy with themselves, " she said.

Placzkowski said she's surprised that this was carried out as part of an orchestrated effort because the swastika was painted on backward. "You would think that if you were a white nationalist you would have known how to make that symbol."

At first, Placzkowski said the vandalism made her angry. The anger turned to sadness, then great gratitude after dozens of people turned out to help clean up the mess, make monetary donations and offer other means of support.