Man caught on video urinating on Philadelphia synagogue, giving lewd hand gesture to camera

Philadelphia Police(PHILADELPHIA) -- Police in Philadelphia are searching for a man caught on surveillance video giving a lewd hand gesture to the camera and then urinating on the walls of a synagogue.

On Sunday at about 12:30 a.m., the unknown man was seen on surveillance video approaching the front doors of the Congregation Beth Solomon, the Philadelphia Police Department said.

The suspect "gave an obscene hand gesture in the direction of the camera, then began to urinate on the walls, and sidewalk directly in front of the doors of the Synagogue," police said in a statement.

Police said the suspect then got into the passenger seat of a white four-door sedan and left the scene. Police said the car was possibly a BMW.

The suspect is described as a man in his 20s with a thin build and a light complexion, police said. He has black hair and a short beard, and was wearing a white shirt and jeans at the time of the incident.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum told ABC News Tuesday that while no arrests have been made, police received about five or six tips on Monday.

"Some people came forward and pointed us in the right direction," he said. "Hopefully it pans out and we get an arrest."

Rosenbaum said that while police believe the synagogue was targeted, authorities think this was vandalism, not a hate crime.

Rosenbaum said a rabbi of the synagogue was in the building at the time of the vandalism. Rosenbaum said the rabbi noticed activity on the surveillance screen, and that's when he checked the tape and saw the suspect's actions.

"Otherwise he might not have even known it happened," Rosenbaum said.

Rosenbaum said the synagogue has a high-resolution camera as the congregation has faced theft and vandalism in the past. Rosenbaum said the menorah seen in the background of the surveillance video was previously stolen and then returned.

The synagogue declined to comment.

Rosenbaum said the suspect would likely face charges of harassment, disorderly conduct and institutional vandalism.

Rosenbaum said anyone with information can call the police at 215-686-3153.

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