The alleged perpetrator responsible for burning a dozen mezuzot in Brooklyn on Monday, as Jews around the world were commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, is in custody, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
The suspect was identified as Ruben Ubiles, 35, who the police say has more than 50 prior arrests, on charges including robbery, assault, and weapons and drug possession.
No information was immediately released on where and how Ubiles, who uses several names and was initially identified by the police as Rubin Ublies, was apprehended, the New York Times reported.
On Monday afternoon 11 mezuzot were damaged by fire inside 85 Taylor Street, a public-housing complex on Williamsburg’s south side.
On Tuesday, another mezuza was burned a block away inside 130 Clymer Street.
Police said they did not know whether the crime intentionally coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The NYPD previously told WCBS news that the vandalism had not been confirmed as a bias-motivated incident, and was under investigation as property damage.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, however, said that he believes the burning of the mezuzot was a hate crime.
“Nothing but hatred can explain why someone would burn mezuzahs on Yom Hashoah, the day we remember the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust,” he said in a statement quoted by WCBS.