Minnetonka Police have identified three people – two 25-year-old men and a 22-year-old woman – allegedly responsible for breaking part of a glass pane at the Adath Jeshurun Congregation building on Sept. 30, and a similar incident on Nov. 28.
The trio are being connected with nearly 90 other reported incidents of property damage collectively worth over $108,000, ranging across businesses, homes, and religious institutions in Minnetonka, Plymouth, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley.
The suspects were jailed on Dec. 12 after the MPD searched one of their homes, finding “slingshots, BBs, metal nuts, narcotics and a stolen vehicle,” the police said in a press release. Two days later, however, the suspects were released without being charged.
“We made an arrest in the case because of the ongoing carnage that was being left behind by these three … in the hopes that it would stop future damage,” said MPD Capt. Andy Gardner. “Had we arrested and charged them in custody, they would have been released anyway. We are continuing to work on the case and waiting for damage estimates from the 89 cases [which are] what the county attorney needs to charge. Once we get all that, we will submit that and we are confident they will issue charges.”
A spokesperson for the Hennepin County Attorney’s office said that they won’t comment while a case is in the investigation stage.
Despite the damage to religious institutions, police are not saying that the suspects were motivated by antisemitism or any kind of other hate bias.
“We are grateful that our robust security system provided the break the Minnetonka police needed to solve the case,” said Miranda Weisbuch, Adath Jeshurun’s executive director, in a statement. The Star Tribune report said that surveillance footage from the Nov. 28 incident helped lead to the arrest.
“We are thankful these were not targeted incidents and look forward to seeing those responsible brought to justice. We appreciate the efforts of the Minnetonka police as well as the continued support of [Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas].”
The JCRC said, in a statement, that it would continue to monitor this case.
“We appreciate our close partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement, including the Minnetonka police, who we thank for their diligent work,” the statement said.
Whether they hate one religion or all religions isn’t it still a bias based crime?
Probably not, if they were just targeting glass windows. At least three on Mainstreet in Hopkins; I’ll bet they’re part of the total 90 incidents.