Police: Cary woman admits to vandalizing synagogue, luxury vehicles

Wake County News
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CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Cary police have arrested a woman in connection with the vandalism of a synagogue and two vehicles Thursday.

Lisa Marie Burns, 57, of Cary was arrested in connection with vandalism at Congregation of Sha’arei Shalom.

Burns is charged with injury to personal property, teaching ethnic intimidation, and injury to real property. 

Just after 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, Cary police received a call about cars being vandalized. A Porsche had been vandalized with orange spray paint and a Mercedes had a busted headlight. 

Payal Gir said it started about three weeks ago. Her Christmas lights were disconnected and later pulled from the ground. She said her driveway was egged.

“I said this is not normal, and I told two or three neighbors of mine,” Gir said.

Less than three hours later, police received a call about damage to the synagogue. 

Cary police said surveillance video showed Burns throwing bricks through the window of the temple. An investigation revealed Burns was responsible for both acts of vandalism, Cary police said. 

The victim whose cars were damaged identified Burns as their neighbor, police said. 

“During interviews with the suspect, she admitted to both acts of vandalism and indicated her disdain for people of other religions and ethnic backgrounds,” Cary police said in a release. 

A board member for the temple told CBS 17 on Thursday that a person threw bricks through the windows and wrote “F U” on the door. The vandalism was reported around 6 p.m.

“We’re not going to respond by being afraid. We’re not going to respond with despair. We’re not even going to respond with bitterness,” said Rabbi Seth Klayman. “The ultimate goal would be to see a transformed heart.” 

Gir lives just down the road from Burns.

“I’m just upset that it’s somebody who’s been living here for, I don’t know, six or seve, years maybe,” Gir said.

The same synagogue was the target of threats in November. An arrest was quickly made in that case, as well.

William Josephus Warden, 20, was arrested on Nov. 4 and charged with ethnic intimidation, as well as placing a burning cross without permission. 

The ethnic intimidation charge was connected to threats he made to the Congregation of Sha’arei Shalom.

The cross burning charge was related to an incident at Bond Park on Oct. 26.

“We have not had anything like this before. So, it seems to be a wave. It seems to be a season where this is certainly swelled here for some reason,” said Rabbi Seth Klayman. “From our vantage point, we are seeing an increase in what we consider anti-Semitism.”

Burns posted the $2,000 secured bond. She didn’t answer the door when CBS 17 stopped by.

Due to the nature of the act, the Cary Police Department is working with its federal law enforcement partners to determine if any federal charges are appropriate.

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