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Hate crime investigation launched after menorah damaged at park in Ronkonkoma

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Detectives from the Suffolk County Hate Crimes Unit are investigating after a menorah was damaged Monday evening at a park in Ronkonkoma, Suffolk County police said in a statement.

The incident occurred Dec. 1 around 5:30 p.m. at the Raynor County Park in Ronkonkoma, police said.

Investigators said two of the arms, which were supporting the lights, were removed from the religious fixture. The bulbs were also broken off of the top of the menorah, police said.

The large menorah is displayed by the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s president, Denise Schwarz, told Newsday that this wasn’t the first time vandals have defaced the menorah. “This is just despicable,” she reportedly told the newspaper. “I don’t understand it.”

A law enforcement source said detectives have taken possession of parts of the stolen menorah and will now seek to identify if the culprits left any fingerprints.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Detectives ask anyone with information to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All callers may remain anonymous.

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