Miami Beach Police arrest suspect in keying of swastikas into cars

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach Police detectives have made an arrest in the recent case where swastikas were found etched onto parked vehicles in Miami Beach.

The accused subject, 61-year-old Timothy Merriam, is already in jail on other charges, according to a tweet sent by MBPD.

Merriam is responsible for not only keying swastikas onto parked vehicles within the past month, police said, but for also slashing bicycle tires during that same time frame.

Detectives said Merriam is responsible for slashing Citi Bike tires in February. On Feb. 26, he was arrested in connection to this crime and charged with criminal mischief.

Police released surveillance video of a man whom they believe is Merriam slashing the tires of bicycles near Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street.

After his arrest and several interviews, detectives connected Merriam to the swastikas found etched into several cars on Feb. 25. Residents of the predominantly Jewish neighborhood had found swastikas keyed into four cars on Prairie Avenue, between 28th and 40th Streets, and on a fifth car on Alton Road.

Doug Eaton, whose car was vandalized with a swastika, said he hopes the vandalizations stop now.

“Hopefully that’ll be the end of that,” he said. “It’s not just vandalism. It’s a very specific type of vandalism that is using a hate symbol.”

“We are Jewish. It was very hard. It was never something I thought I would have to deal with in my life,” said neighbor Janie Hayes. “It was scary.”

Merriam currently faces more than two dozen charges of criminal mischief. He has not been charged with a hate crime.

“Hopefully he gets the help he needs,” Eaton added.

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