Police: Starbucks sign vandalized with red paint in Glen Rock being investigated as a bias crime

Police chief Dean Ackermann says reported bias incidents in New Jersey have quadrupled in recent years, and they keep rising.

Lanette Espy and Jim Murdoch

Feb 19, 2024, 5:11 PM

Updated 61 days ago

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Police have launched an investigation into a bias incident after a Starbucks sign in Glen Rock was vandalized, covered with red paint.
Authorities say they believe this incident occurred in the early morning hours between 2 and 7 a.m. In addition to the red paint, a couple of stickers were placed on the posts referencing the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Police are treating the incident as a bias crime.
The sign and stickers were removed just before noon as police begin the investigation.  
A Starbucks sign was vandalized with red paint in Glen Rock. (Photo: Jim Murdoch/News 12 New Jersey)
In a statement, police chief Dean Ackermann says reported bias incidents in New Jersey have quadrupled in recent years, and they keep rising.
“Sadly, while we would like to think otherwise, Glen Rock is not immune,” Ackermann said. “This should be completely unacceptable to all of us. It is certainly unacceptable to the members of the Glen Rock Police Department.”
This is the second bias incident in a week. On Feb. 15, school officials sent home a letter to parents after someone drew a swastika inside a science lab drawer at the high school. Ackermann says there is no evidence to support that the Starbucks incident has any relation to the incident which was reported by officials at the Glen Rock High School on Thursday Feb. 15.
Glen Rock Mayor Kristine Morieko posted on Facebook about the Starbucks incident and said this will not be tolerated.
"This is not OK. This will not be tolerated. Hate is hate. For 135 days our community has felt pain like no other, and I ask that you take the time to reach out to your Jewish Friends and let them know they are seen, heard and supported,” Morieko said.
The president of the Glen Rock Jewish Center calls the incident an act of antisemitism.  
Jeff Lipson, of Glen Rock Jewish Center, says “It’s disgusting, it's horrifying, yet unexpected it's not unexpected which is also really sad.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact James Calaski at jcalaski@glenrockpolice.com or 201-670-3948.


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