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WLPD announces bias crime investigation after family finds grafitti in their home that's currently under construction.

SUBMITTED - This swastika was painted on the window at the construction site for the Sherman family's new home in West Linn. West Linn police are investigating racist, anti-semitic and anti-police graffiti discovered at an under-construction home Dec. 23.

Police announced in a press release they were investigating the incident as a bias crime.

Steve Sherman, who has lived with his family in the neighborhood for 20 years, said he discovered the vandalism around 4 p.m. Wednesday when he walked the short distance from his current home to his future home on Nixon Avenue.

Sherman said that two swastikas, the N-word, the acronym ACAB (which stands for "all cops are bastards") and "not a nice message" directed at a specific West Linn police officer were all written in putty and pipe glue on the windows and walls of the house.

According to Sherman, a neighbor's video camera across the street showed two teenagers casually walking onto the property when no one else was there.

Sherman, whose family is Jewish, said he thought it most likely that the house was vandalized simply because it was under construction and seemed an easy target.

"We don't hide the fact that we're Jewish. We're one of the only families that doesn't have Christmas lights on every year and people that know us know we're Jewish," he said.

Sherman said his family had no connections to the police department.

When Sherman called to report the incident to police, he said an officer arrived within about 45 minutes. He said police talked with neighbors and viewed the footage showing two people walking onto the property.

"I don't think they (the police) will let it just go, especially because one of their officers was mentioned in one of the messages," Sherman said.

If they didn't have so many family and work ties to West Linn, Sherman said, he might consider moving out of the state to get away from this incident.

"My wife is first generation American. Her parents both survived the Holocaust," Sherman said. "They've passed away now. But she also has family that didn't survive (the Holocaust)."

Sherman noted that when he and his wife eventually move into the new house, the image of those two swastikas on the window will always be in the back of their minds.

The West Linn Police Department asks anyone with information on the incident to call 503-655-6214.

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