A Winthrop Harbor man has been charged with a felony hate crime after he allegedly made a threatening phone call to a Highland Park synagogue.
The Highland Park Police Department was called at 5:30 p.m. Monday to the Central Avenue Synagogue, 874 Central Avenue in Highland Park.
Police said that staff members received a phone call containing threatening statements. Police detectives and state and federal law enforcement authorities began an investigation. They identified the caller as Dean R. West, 39, of the 1100 block of Sheridan Road in Winthrop Harbor.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved a class 3 felony hate crime charge. An arrest warrant was issued for West and U.S. Marshals and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team took him into custody on Thursday.
The incident comes just days after 11 people were killed in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Highland Park Police said that they had already increased patrols around local religious institutions following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
Police said there is not believed to be any other threats to other local religious institutions in Highland Park.
West remains held in the Lake County Jail on a $250,000 bond.