Police are investigating a hate crime at the Am Echod Jewish Cemetery, 3050 Grand Avenue in Waukegan, after swastikas were discovered painted on headstones Monday morning. | Photo: Google Street View

Authorities are seeking help in identifying the suspect or suspects who spray-pained swastikas onto more than a dozen headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Waukegan.

The Waukegan Police Department responded around 8 a.m. Monday to Am Echod Jewish Cemetery, 3050 Grand Avenue in Waukegan, for a report of criminal damage to property.

Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Joe Florip said officers arrived to find numerous headstones that had been vandalized.

The Waukegan Police Department Criminal Investigation Division was called to the scene to investigate.

Officers located 16 large headstones that had been defaced with large red spray-painted swastikas, Florip said.

Officers also located 23 other headstones that had been defaced with red spray-painted graffiti.

Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said she was “deeply disturbed” and angered about the hateful imagery.

“Hate does not have a home in Waukegan; when such incidents occur, our marginalized neighbors are victimized, and our entire community suffers,” Taylor said.

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“I hope our officers promptly locate the perpetrators of this despicable act and hold them accountable, and I offer my full support to those directly impacted by this vandalism,” she added.

Florip said the case is considered open and active.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Waukegan Police Department’s tip line at 847-360-9001.