ROBERT GOLD – Cape Cod Times
Betty Gladstein showed up at the Chabad Jewish Center yesterday, looking to clean up some chalk her young daughter had left on the carpet Tuesday. What she found sickened her.
Doors were smashed in, even shattered in half, she said. A charity box was ripped from the wall.
Gladstein quickly left the building and called police, worrying intruders could be in the West Main Street building. While she waited for the police, the Centerville woman said she saw young males heading toward the building from the back. When they spotted her, they ran, Gladstein said. She called the police again and within moments, several police cars swarmed the area.
According to Gladstein, police caught the two suspects a short time later and told her they had another young male in custody.
Barnstable police confirmed they were investigating a break-in at the Chabad Jewish Center, at 745 West Main St., shortly before noon. But they declined to release information about any potential suspects or what happened at the center. Police said they were in the middle of investigating and did not want to release details prematurely.
Gladstein said the damage extended far beyond the destruction to the walls and charity box. She said an office computer had images of Hitler. Religious items were thrown on the floor.
“They spent a lot of time in that building destroying a lot of stuff,” Gladstein said.
Rabbi Yekusiel Alperowitz, co-director of the center, said they expect to have a community drive to raise funds for an advanced security system.
“It was more than just a break-in. It’s very unfortunate. It’s a desecration of culture for all humanity. It’s an assault on prayer, on religion, on culture for all people,” he said.
Several hours after discovering the damage, Gladstein was still trying to grasp why it happened. “This is sick. This is sick stuff,” she said.