(JTA) – Los Angeles police have arrested a man who they say has been snatching wigs off the heads of Orthodox Jewish women in North Hollywood, California.
Police believe the man targeted the women because of their faith and are investigating it as a hate crime. He was arrested at his home in Sherman Oaks on Wednesday night.
Two of the incidents took place in September and one earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported.
One of the incidents took place on Yom Kippur. The man grabbed a big off the head of an 80-year-old woman, smiled and handed it back to her, police told the newspaper. Later that same day he ripped the wig off the head of a 36-year-old woman.
On Tuesday, the suspect, who has not been identified, pulled the wig off of a 58-year-old woman, apologized in what police called a “sarcastic manner,” and threw the wig on the ground, according to the newspaper.
Police believe there may have been other unreported incidents.
“The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs. Orthodox Jewish women often wear wigs, scarfs or hats to cover their hair as a symbol of modesty,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.
One of the incidents was caught by a surveillance camera.