Incident originally investigated as hate crime, but now considered gang-related graffiti, police said
SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- After some investigation, north suburban police no longer believe graffiti drawn on a kosher pizzeria was a hate crime.
Skokie police said Monday that their investigation began just after 10:30 a.m. Sunday, when officers responded to EJ's Pizzeria in the 9000-block of Gross Point Road.
Someone had used a sharp object and a black marker to mark a front window of the business. One marking included a swastika within a heart, police said.
The incident was originally investigated as a hate crime, but is now considered gang-related graffiti, police said.
The vandal was caught approaching the business on surveillance video.
EJ's Pizzeria owner Moises Wajchman said it happened on Thanksgiving, less than half an hour after the shop closed for the holiday.
"As he's walking out, you see in the video, he puts his head down," Wajchman said.
Wajchman is Jewish, and feared he was being targeted over the weekend.