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Police: Teen caught shoplifting at Target was behind antisemitic flyers in Fair Oaks

Police say a teen charged with shoplifting at the Fair Lakes Target recently distributed antisemitic flyers (via Google Maps)

A teenager detained for an alleged shoplifting attempt at Fair Lakes Shopping Center was responsible for a series of antisemitic flyers scattered around Fair Oaks last week, police say.

Officers determined that the teen distributed the flyers after they were apprehended at Target (13047 Fair Lakes Shopping Center) on Sunday (Aug. 20), according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

“The Target Asset Prevention Team advised that the suspect was observed stealing a staple gun, sandwich bags, glue, and other miscellaneous items,” the FCPD said in a news release published last night (Tuesday).

The Target is near where some flyers were found, and the teen was caught on video by a local homeowner’s surveillance camera, FOX5 reported.

The FCPD said on Saturday (Aug. 19) that it had received numerous reports of “suspicious flyers portraying bias material” over the past two days, noting that it was talking with local religious leaders to identify safety measures but there was “no specific threat within our community.”

“We are grateful for our strong ties within this community, which help us in gathering additional information and developing long-term solutions to address instances of hatred like this one,” the FCPD said at the time.

The flyers were stuck to windshields, doors and yard signs supporting Del. Karrie Delaney’s reelection campaign, the delegate said in a statement. Delaney represents the 67th House District, which was redrawn as the 9th District and includes Fair Lakes and parts of Chantilly.

“I am deeply disturbed by the distribution of these flyers in our community,” Delaney said. “I stand unequivocally with the Jewish community, and condemn this action in the strongest of terms. There is absolutely no place for this kind of hate in Fairfax County, or anywhere in Virginia.”

The teen has been charged with petit larceny and is currently in custody at the county’s Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

This isn’t the first time Fairfax County has dealt with antisemitic propaganda. Flyers targeting local school board members were found in Fairfax Station in 2021, and county leaders condemned a series of flyers distributed in the Wolf Trap area last year.

As many as 50 flyers claiming to be from a Virginia-based branch of the Ku Klux Klan were discovered in McLean this past February.

Image via Google Maps