An investigation is underway in Marion County to see whether vandalism at a Jewish synagogue on Christmas was a hate crime.
Natalie Raw, vice president of Temple B'nai Darom, said someone shot out several windows of the synagogue early Christmas morning.
"There are multiple pock marks," said Raw as she surveyed the damage Tuesday.
Directors at Temple B'nai Darom got a call from their alarm company early Thursday morning. When they arrived, they found multiple windows shot out.
"The sheriff's deputy thinks someone received a BB gun for Christmas and came out to do a little target practice," said Raw.
Religious leaders at the synagogue said they think there could be more to this crime, because it's not the first time the Temple B'nai Darom has been vandalized.
"Our signs are damaged with great regularity. There's no sign telling you where to turn for the congregation," said Raw. "We try so hard to be good neighbors in the community, but it became so frequent, we started reporting it. We've had the FBI here investigating hate crimes at this location."
The synagogue sits on an oversized lot surrounded by homes off Baseline Road. No one reported seeing or hearing anything suspicious.
"We recognize the fact that this is a mostly Christian community, but everyone should be respected for their right to worship as they please," said Raw.
At this point, the Marion County Sheriff's Office has classified simply as criminal mischief.
"We are investigating this as we would other crime," said Laurel Lettilier, with the Marion County Sheriff's Office. "If we find anything that would delineate it a hate crime, we fill find it and track down any motives that might be involved."
The Sheriff's Office has increased patrol around the church over the last week, daytime and nighttime, though detectives said they have not found any obvious signs of a hate crime at this point.
If captured, however, the vandals would face felony charges for destroying property at a place of worship.