LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — Families in a Lynchburg neighborhood are dealing with some hateful flyers that were left at their homes.
“I picked it up, saw what it was, and ran back inside, showed it to my wife told her to lock the doors, and then I took off for the airport,” said Mike Gillette after receiving an anti-Semitic flyer.
Neighbors along Surrey Place and Surrey Lane say they found the flyers on their driveways on Sunday morning.
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The messages are hitting some pretty hard.
“Some people might think this is just a piece of paper. So, what's the big deal? But, I am concerned that in our society now, the rhetoric has gotten so out of hand,” said Gillette.
Gillette is also a former Mayor of Lynchburg.
“Anti-semitism is is very old. You don't even have to go back very far in time to know when it worked in ways that killed millions and millions of people. So, being Jewish, especially in a small town where there aren't many Jews around can make someone feel vulnerable,” said Gillette.
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The anti-semitic flyers say things like:
“The conspiratorial thinking has gotten so out of hand. It is being revved up, even by elected officials. It's being used in a way, that's very dangerous, that I think it's not difficult to imagine that, someone out there sees this sort of stuff and gets ignited and activated and it can result in truly dangerous activity,” said Gillette.
The fine print on the flyers reads "they were distributed without malicious intent" but no one who lives in this neighborhood buys that.
“I also know that where this has been happening in other parts of the country, they have often targeted Jewish neighborhoods. And, the Jewish population in Lynchburg isn't that large,” said Gillette.
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Gillette went on to say he believes the flyers were left at random.
ABC13 got a chance to ask Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema about this.
Zuidema tells ABC13 that there have been several reports filed recently and that they're working to determine the motive behind them.
Anyone who may have captured video of this incident on a security or doorbell camera is asked to share the footage on the Neighbors portal with LPD.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Dubie at (434) 455-6102 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. You can also enter a tip ONLINE or use the P3 app on a mobile device.
The investigation is ongoing.