CARMICHAEL, Calif. (KTXL) – The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday arrested a suspect in a series of hate crimes in Carmichael.
After a month and a half of surveillance, investigators were able to identify Nicholas Wayne Sherman, 33, as the suspect who targeted a synagogue, an elementary school and several homes between October 4 and 20.
Sherman is believed to have left swastika symbols, images of Hitler and sacks of rice on the properties.
“The work doesn’t stop, and the hundreds of hours that have gone by, the search warrants, the tips that have come down to us from our community,” Sacramento County Deputy Chief Sheriff Jim said. Barnes.
FOX40 was invited exclusively by the sheriff’s office as MPs pulled Sherman into his vehicle after he left for work early Wednesday morning and arrested him. Law enforcement said they found a swastika on his keychain and other flyers on the back of his SUV.
From inside his home, lawmakers said they seized more Aryan nations and anti-Semitic leaflets.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in a press release Sherman is charged with one felony and 13 misdemeanors.
Sherman has been charged with one count of desecrating a religious symbol on the property of the Shalom Le Israel synagogue in Carmichael. Sherman was charged with 12 additional counts of terrorism per symbol for placing Aryan nation flyers containing a swastika on the doorsteps of many Carmichael homes, and one additional count of terrorism per symbol for placing similar flyers on the property of Deterding Elementary School in Carmichael. .
In the first week of October, Carmichael families were shocked to find bags of white rice with swastikas in homes in their neighborhood.
“On their doorstep, they found a Ziploc bag. There was a small amount of white rice like cooking and a flyer inside the “Aryan nation” that had a swastika on it, ”said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rod Grassmann told FOX40 in October.
Authorities reported at least 10 individual victims at that time, but said there could be more.
Security video captured someone leaving a bag of rice in a house.
An owner, who spoke to FOX40 after the incident and wished to remain anonymous, said he had lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years.
“He shouldn’t be in just any neighborhood. This is not correct. They try to force an opinion on you, and that creates more dissent, separation and unity. And what we’re supposed to live in is the United States, the United States, ”said the owner.
Shortly after the bags were located in the houses, the deputies confirmed that additional bags filled with rice and leaflets, with a swastika and the words “Aryan Nation” printed on them, had been found in the courtyard of Deterding Elementary School recreation.
At that time, Sacramento County investigators and Homeland Security were investigating whether fingerprints were left at the scene.
Almost two weeks later, on October 20, a similar incident was reported at the Shalom Le Israel Messianic Synagogue.
A synagogue member arrived and found someone on flyers with pictures of Hitler on the large white menorah outside the place of worship.
“It said something like ‘Hitler was right’,” Grassmann said in October, referring to the message on the leaflets.
Grassman told FOX40 the incident was being investigated as a hate crime.
“It’s a place where people should feel safe. When they go to their place of worship, everyone should feel safe, ”he added.
Rabbi Boris Csiprush told FOX40 shortly after the incident that it was shocking that anti-Semitism still exists, and seeing these footage of Hitler brings back painful memories.
“Guys, we’re not afraid of you,” Csiprush said.
The October incident was not the first time that the Csiprush synagogue had been targeted. Three years ago, someone started a fire in front of the front gate, and two months later, someone smashed the sign in front.
Detectives worked with investigators from other counties, where they said they had evidence Sherman allegedly committed similar crimes.
“Then we had a similar incident that we discovered in Aptosm, but which was related because another incident happened in El Dorado. And when we do a suspicious activity report – it goes out to all the agencies – that’s when the communication is established and the coordination is established, ”Barnes said. “We have now started talking, that’s how we found identity. We started to research and then we were able to get confirmation that this was the responsible person. “
“All crimes hurt not only the victim, but the whole community. This is especially true for hate crimes, ”Sheriff Scott Jones said in Wednesday’s statement. “The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office, like our community, has no tolerance for hate crimes of any kind, and they will be investigated to the best of our ability, and offenders will be identified and arrested. “
“Let me be very clear, hate crimes against any member of any group in our community are assault on all of us and will not be tolerated,” Schubert added. “Those who target victims based on their race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, gender or sexual orientation will be prosecuted by specially trained and experienced prosecutors. In addition to prosecuting hate crimes, my office works to educate the community on how to protect themselves and encourages them to report suspected hate crimes.
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