Suspect sought for leaving hate messages in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police say a man armed with spray paint and hate has been leaving his mark in several Philadelphia neighborhoods in recent weeks.

But when he last struck, he left behind more than just a hateful message, he left his own face on surveillance video.

In the video above at the top of the screen, you can see the suspect on his bike pull up alongside a building.

He looks around, then police say he sprays white supremacist messages on the wall.

It happened outside a busy SEPTA stop at Broad Street and Snyder Avenue on November 20.

Lori Walsh of South Philadelphia said, "I think it's horrible. Like you said, this community is really diverse and I hate that these kinds of tags are happening in the city.

Police say cameras caught the suspect spray painting a circle with a cross in it and the phrases white world and white pride around them.

The same message was found on November 11 on the 2800 block of Moore Street, and on November 19 on the 1300 block of Snyder Avenue.

On November 20, similar messages and Neo-Nazi symbols were found on buildings at four other nearby locations. This time, the suspect's face was caught on video.

Jeff Tran says his auto repair business has been hit by vandals repeatedly but he doesn't know if the obscure symbols are racist.

"We took over the business. There was no graffiti, now it's been happening every few days last few months," he said.

We asked Bopha Chao of South Philadelphia did she feel targeted? "I might because I do have people come up and say something just because I'm Asian," he said.

Chao works at a nearby restaurant and bar and says she's also seen an increase in intolerant behavior by patrons.

"More so lately, past couple months used to be less. I definitely feel like this is part of a larger movement of intolerance," added Chao.

A recent FBI report agrees. The number of hate crimes in Philadelphia more than doubled from 2016 to 2017.

Now, police want you to take a good look at the guy in the video to help put an end to a racist vandalism spree that leaves residents saddened but not surprised.

We asked does it hurt the community.

"It only hurts himself because it shows his ignorant true colors," said Shae Love of South Philadelphia
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