Bags with antisemitic messages, unidentified substance found on cars, buildings in Lincoln Park

Michelle Gallardo Image
Monday, April 8, 2024
Antisemitic messages, unidentified substance bags found on North Side
Alderman Timmy Knudsen asked residents to look through security footage after bags with antisemitic messages and an unidentified substance were found.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating after dozens of antisemitic messages were found on cars and buildings.

Not for the first time, Lincoln Park residents woke up on Monday morning to a disturbing discovery: Ziploc bags containing antisemitic messages, in what appears to be a clear escalation, and an unidentified substance that some believe may be rat poison.

"On every doorstep, coming up the street, there were these bags. I picked up a few of them and was horrified to see what they were, and of course, my 4-year-old was, 'Mommy, what is that?' And it just broke my heart. I didn't know what to tell him," said Arden Joy.

Neighbors said they bags were everywhere along Belden Avenue from Geneva Terrace to Clark Street. They were placed on cars, in the parkway and on the stoops of people's homes.

Ansley Schrimpf was walking her dog when he came across a baggie.

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"I started to notice they were at every house. And so I took him home quickly, came back with gloves and a plastic bag and attempted to get them out of the way," Schrimpf said.

Police confirmed the discoveries, saying they have identified at least 84 similar baggies, most of which were initially turned over to 43rd Ward Alderman Timmy Knudsen's office.

"I would make the argument that this does amount to a hate crime, because there is a dangerous substance attached to it. It's also targeted. It couldn't be more clear who it's targeted to because of the language in the pamphlets," Knudsen said.

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Antisemitic flyering has been on the rise not only in Lincoln Park, but around the city. Back in February, similar messages, but without the pellets, were delivered to people's doors on back-to-back days.

"It's something that I hope will tell the authorities that we have to take it more seriously. And we have to stop this. This isn't OK," said Rabbi Mendy Benhiyoun with Chabad of Lincoln Park.

As police continue to investigate, Knudsen is calling on residents living on the impacted streets to look through their security footage for anything that may help identify the person or persons behind the flyering.

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