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Suspect in Custody For Bay Ridge Vandalism Spree on Churches, Synagogue

By  Claire Oliver and Murray Weiss | July 30, 2013 5:42pm 

 Cop and cop car.
Cop and cop car.
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Getty Images/Spencer Platt

BAY RIDGE — Cops were questioning a Brooklyn man Tuesday in connection with a morning vandalism spree on several churches, synagogues and schools in the neighborhood.

Police fingered the the 55-year-old suspect from video surveillance taken from one of the crime scenes, said Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

"People were able to identify him as wearing the same clothing," he said.

Residents and religious officials said they awoke Tuesday morning to find red spray paint defacing statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary at St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church at 356 82nd St.

The word “NO” was painted on both the Bay Ridge Jewish Center’s building at 405 81st St. and the Bay Ridge Preparatory School at 8101 Ridge Blvd. Several license plates of cars were tagged, along with two private residences on 84th Street.

The vandal also hit Union Lutheran Church at 1715 Bay Ridge Blvd., and the door and mailbox of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church at 8502 Ridge Blvd.

“We feel offended by this,” Father Anthony Alimnonu of St. Anselm said. “This is a place of worship and a religious symbol. We’re waiting to see the motives behind what happened."

Alimnonu said he had not estimated the cost of the damage but said the statues would be removed for special cleaning tomorrow.

“It’s a shame, what can you say?” a representative from the Bay Ridge Jewish Center said. “It’s no fun to clean up.”

Anyone with additional video footage or information about the crime should contact NYPD Crime Stoppers online or at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).