Bias crime investigation after headstones vandalized at Jewish cemetery in New Jersey

FREEHOLD, Monmouth County (WABC) -- Police are investigating an act of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in New Jersey.

Several headstones were knocked over from their bases last month, between the morning of August 25 to the morning of August 26, at the Congregation Agudath Achim Cemetery in Freehold.

A local veterans group said the four headstones were cracked or chipped when they tipped over, including one belonging to a World War II veteran.

"The fact that anyone would so something like that without giving much thought to the respect for the dead and to what that would create in the minds of the families is really what gets you emotional," Steve Weisman said. "This isn't right. A man should not be doing this to the common man, and hopefully the message gets across."

The Jewish War Veterans organization not only paid for restoration, it is also offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandal or vandals responsible.

"It's disrespectful for any faith, certainly," Michael Berman said. "And this being a Jewish cemetery, unfortunately, because of some horrible times in our history, we remember when cemeteries were destroyed, when people were, unfortunately, unmercifully killed."

Freehold Township Police are actively investigating the incident -- as a bias crime -- and request anyone with information to contact this agency at 732-462-7500 or 732-294-2110.

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