Two University of Illinois students were issued notices to appear in court Monday on felony charges in connection with the fourth incidence of vandalism to the menorah outside the Chabad Center for Jewish Life since 2015.
UI police spokesman Patrick Wade said the incident, in which one of the menorah’s branches was broken off and taken, was caught on video.
“The branch was returned later that weekend, but it reportedly no longer works,” Wade said.
Jacob R. Bassler and Nicholas R. Gustafson, who are both 18 and listed addresses in Champaign, were each cited on a preliminary charge of felony criminal damage to property after being interviewed by UI police.
Wade said the incident is being treated as a felony because it happened at a place of worship.
Wade said Bassler and Gustafson were also given summonses for theft for allegedly stealing a shopping cart from a nearby grocery store.
Wade said alcohol played a role in the crime, and there’s no evidence that it was committed because of ill-will toward the Jewish faith.
Wade said the two suspects are cooperating.