Headstones toppled at Jewish cemetery in Rochester

Multiple gravesites and headstones were toppled or vandalized inside Waad Hakolel Cemetery late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - For the second time in less than two years, Rochester Police are investigating headstones being toppled inside a Jewish cemetery.

At least seven headstones were toppled or vandalized inside Waad Hakolel Cemetery late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. The cemetery sits on Stonewood Avenue.

Officers were called to the cemetery by a neighbor around 1:10 a.m.

The cemetery was also vandalized in March 2017 when vandals toppled or damaged 17 headstones. Governor Cuomo directed New York State Police's Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident at the time. It remains unclear if anything was determined in the investigation.

The Britton Road Association, Inc., a non-profit organization that runs the cemetery. President Michael Phillips described the actions as hooliganism and mischief rather than something more sinister, citing Almond Joys, Mounds and Snickers wrappers

"The good thing that really keeps us from classifying this as anything different is the candy wrappers," Phillips said.

Phillips said there were also cigarette butts on the way to every headstone that was toppled.

The Rochester Police Department Technical Service Unit took pictures of the damage and are continuing their investigation.

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