Vandals scattered anti-Semitic graffiti throughout a Leland Road neighborhood Wednesday morning

SUBMITTED PHOTO: KRISTIN GIBSON - On the morning of April 4, residents in a rural Oregon City neighborhood on Leland Road noticed anti-Semitic graffiti painted on a vacant house.A quiet, rural Oregon City neighborhood was vandalized Wednesday morning with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Around 7:30 a.m., residents on Leland Road near Stone Creek Golf Course noticed the word "Jew" and a slightly-off swastika spray-painted on the garage door of a vacant house. Down the street, the vandals had spray-painted a star on a tree, which given the context, may have been intended to be a Star of David. They also tagged a street blockade, but with no obvious message.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: KRISTIN GIBSON - Graffiti was found throughout the neighborhood, including this possible Star of David emblem painted on a tree five houses down from the swastika."I just think it's disgusting, very disturbing and not something you want to wake up to and see out your window," said Keri Meissel, who lives directly across the street from the vandalized house. "Especially in our neighborhood, there's just been nothing like that."

Meissel has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, and in that time, she has never seen any crime. She doesn't know why anyone would target the house or the neighborhood with prejudice graffiti. The house has sat vacant for about six years after the couple who lived there passed away. The house was purchased at an auction a couple of months ago and is now undergoing a remodel.

"Today was just really surprising," she said.

The vandalism follows several recent thefts in the area though, including car break-ins and bike and scooter thefts, according to neighborhood resident Kristin Gibson.

"I'm more sad than mad," Gibson said. "My heart breaks thinking about how much hatred is in the world. And a part of me thought I lived in my own little safe bubble. Reality check."

Kristen Wohlers
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