Religious Center and Other Buildings Vandalized in South Beach

Hate messages were spray-painted at several locations in South Beach

Several buildings in Miami Beach, including a Jewish women's prayer center and a homeless outreach center, were found vandalized with hate messages spray-painted with red, police said Tuesday.

The graffiti was found at the outreach center at 555 17th Street, at the prayer center at 2530 Pinetree Drive, 2700 Sheridan Ave., which is the Scott Rakow Youth Center and at a condo at 2851 Sheridan Ave.

More graffitti was also found on three youth center buses, Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez said.

All of the messages, which were discovered by city employees around 8 a.m., had the letters KKK, while some had bulls eye and an anarchist symbol.

Officers were at the center investigating the incident early Tuesday. A resident at the condo said the building, which is under renovation, had a red bulls eye on the front door.

Officials said the workers had painted over most of the messages early in the morning.

"It was terrible," Miami Beach Parks and Recreation spokesman Julio Magrisso said. "The best thing we did is we moved real quickly, we removed it and they won't see it. As we drive around with the buses and we pick up the children this afternoon, it's already picked up."

Hernandez said police are checking to see if nearby surveillance cameras may have captured the crime.

"We believe that it may be one or two people together," Hernandez said.

The police department also Tweeted out: "MBPD doesn't tolerate hate against any members of our community . Special thanks to our property management crews for the quick clean up."

Police are asking anyone who may have seen anything to come forward.

"It's unfortunate that it happened in our city and in our community," Hernandez said. "We don't want people to think that messages of hate are okay in our city."

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

PHOTO: A bus at the Scott Rakow Youth Center

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