The menorah, which is owned by the local Chabad, had been installed in San Francisco’s Washington Square Park two weeks ago, the San Francisco Gate reported. It was reported stolen on Sunday, and had been lit on Saturday night.
Local police are investigating the theft, though they believe the menorah was stolen by metal recyclers and not by someone with anti-Semitic intent.
“We didn’t think somebody could make off with something that big Miryum Mochkin, co-director of the North Beach branch of Chabad, told the Gate. She said Chabad considers it a hate crime.
“At the end of the day, someone that evil, who would target a religious symbol, is a person of darkness,” Mochkin said, according to the Gate. “We’re a celebration of light. They’re stuck in a dark place.”
The group had been scheduled to hold a public lighting of the menorah on Monday night. It called on families to meet in the park at the scheduled time with their own personal menorahs instead.