A Gunn High School student's car was keyed with an anti-Semitic epithet on May 17, Palo Alto police said Thursday.
The student had parked his car in the 600 block of Georgia Avenue between Abel and Amaranta avenues in a residential neighborhood near the school. Students often park in the neighborhood, police Sgt. Rich Bullerjahn said.
The victim returned at 2:45 p.m. to find the hood of the vehicle scratched with the words "F--- you Jew." The crime occurred between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., Bullerjahn said.
Investigators looked into any possible connections at the school. The victim is Jewish, but he has never been the victim of any hate crime in the past, Bullerjahn said. There were no witnesses.
California law calls for stiff punishment for anyone convicted of a hate crime. Persons who are found guilty face up to one year in county jail, or a fine up to $5,000, or both plus community service up to 400 hours.
Other statutes, including causing property damage of more than $400, carry state prison terms and a fine of up to $10,000. Persons convicted of a felony under these statutes can face additional state prison terms up to three years.