A man has been caught for tearing off the wigs from the heads of three unsuspecting Orthodox Jewish women in California.
The first two incidents occurred on the most holiest of days in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur.
The man, who had not yet been identified, is alleged to have approached an 80-year-old woman who was walking in North Hollywood when she noticed a man following her.
Police on Wednesday night arrested a man suspected of a string of attacks against Orthodox Jewish women in the North Hollywood area
The man was seen pulling the wigs off Orthodox Jewish women and is being investigated as a hate crime
As the stranger approached her, he snatched the wig from her head before smiling and handing it back to her.
He then walked away without saying a word, police said.
On the same day, a 36-year-old woman was also had the man attempt to pull her wig off.
The man then remained quiet for a few days before approaching a 58-year-old woman who was busy loading her before tearing off her wig.
‘Oh, I’m sorry!’ he said once again before throwing the pricey wig onto the ground and walking away.
‘The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs,’ police said in a statement.
The anti-semitic man, who was not immediately identified was taken into custody on Wednesday on suspicion of battery, according to the Los Angeles Times.
‘This is something for a Jewish woman which is so personal,’ Rabbi Nachman Abend told CBS Los Angeles. ‘This wig or this hair covering is something to them which is so important. To rip that off somebody’s head is crossing all lines and I’m really glad the LAPD considered this a hate crime.’
Orthodox Jewish women usually wear wigs after getting married as a symbol of modesty. The wigs are also considered a blessing.
Orthodox Jewish women usually wear wigs after getting married as a symbol of modesty. The wigs are also considered a blessing
Attacks on the Jewish community have become an increasing concern for local law enforcement in recent weeks, after a gunman stormed the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people in late October.
The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, explicitly stated a desire to kill Jews as he engaged in a firefight with police.
Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise nationally, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks such incidents by drawing on reports from police and news publications.
There were 1,986 such incidents in 2017, a 57% jump from the prior year, according to data compiled by the ADL.