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More Than 100 Tires Slashed In Heavily Orthodox Lakewood, NJ

(JTA) — More than 100 car tires have been slashed in the heavily Jewish town of Lakewood, New Jersey, over the past several days.

All of the cars involved were reported to belong to or be used by Jews, ABC News reported Monday.

Security footage broadcast by ABC showed a person in a hoodie using a knife to slash tires.

Lakewood is the home to a large haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Jewish community and one of the biggest yeshivas in the United States. Police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

Lakewood, which is known as a center of haredi Orthodox life in the United States, has seen its population boom in recent decades, from around 60,000 in 2000 to more than 100,000 as of 2017. Local officials have predicted that by 2030, the number would more than double, according to the Asbury Park Press.

As the city has grown, Orthodox families seeking more space have moved to neighboring towns like Toms River or Jackson. This expansion has created a backlash from some non-Orthodox neighbors, who often say their objections are about zoning, housing density and local support for public schools. But the Orthodox residents and others see some of the criticism as anti-Semitic.

Ben Sales contributed to this report.

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