A welcome sign was stolen from the front porch of the Chabad House Oct. 22. The suspect, who was caught on camera removing the banner, remains unidentified.
The stolen sign read “Welcome Jewish students, this is Chabad House.” Channa Mayer, program co-director of Chabad House, said she called the Charlottesville Police Department right away to file a police report. The University Police Department and Robyn Hadley, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, are also involved in the investigation.
The University is also partnering with UPD to identify the suspect, University spokesperson Brian Coy said.
“Representatives from Student Affairs and the University Police Department are working directly with [representatives from the Chabad house] to provide support and to gather information that may be helpful in determining who committed this act,” Coy said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.
Chabad House is home to Chabad House at U.Va., a Jewish organization on Grounds whose goal is to provide a sense of community to the University and the greater Charlottesville area. The Chabad House opens its doors to all students.
Given the video footage of the incident, Mayer said she is not convinced the suspect is a student at the University.
“I’ve never met a U.Va. student to be that dumb, that would show their whole face in a video where you know there’s two cameras watching, so I’m kind of skeptical,” Mayer said. “I wouldn’t be shocked, but I just don’t think they would risk [their place at] U.Va like that.”
Coy said keeping students safe is the University’s highest priority, and that those who threaten that safety will be held accountable for their actions. To discourage similar events, UPD will conduct extra patrols in the area of the Chabad House, located on Lewis Mountain Road.
Mayer said she is cautiously optimistic that the police will be able to identify the subject in the video. She said that even though the vandalism was negligent and harmful, there has been an outpouring of kindness in response.
Mayer hopes an apology will show that people cannot get away with this type of behavior.
“[I would like] to see somebody at least apologize,” Mayer said. “Regardless of … what type of crime this is, or what the intentions were, I think it would be pretty significant to say this is not tolerated.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism can contact CPD at 434-970-3280.