TIGARD - Tigard police used the assistance of a Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue ladder truck last week to remove a large flag displaying a swastika hanging from a utility pole on Highway 217 near I-5.

Tigard police responded to that and five other similar alleged neo-Nazi related incidents in the past week.

Tigard public information officer Jim Wolf said the department has no suspects but noted that officers are monitoring the situation.

Reports of neo-Nazi symbols began Feb. 26 when a resident reported a swastika flag tethered to a utility pole along Highway 217 near Southwest 72nd Avenue. Police removed the flag, which was attached to a red balloon. Two days later another flag was found attached to a utility pole along Highway 217 near I-5. That flag was removed with the help of TVF and R crews.

Another flag was found flying above a vacant business in the 13500 block of Southwest Pacific Highway. Police removed that flag which appeared to have been thrown on top of the building with a bottle and attached to an anti-Semitic flyer.

According to police, neighborhoods in the area south of Durham Road near Southwest 98th Street and along Derry Dell Court reported finding anti-Semitic flyers scattered on the streets. Tigard police responded to both neighborhoods and picked up the flyers, Wolf said. The flyers included contact information for the National Socialist Workers.

Incidents of anti-Semitic behavior are something the city of Tigard has experienced before. In 2004, 200 people rallied in Cook Park to protest a white supremacists group's recruitment tactics that used racist literature. Wolf said the 2004 incident also involved hate crimes that police were able to connect to a few suspects.

The recent incidents have not reached the level of a hate crime, Wolf said.

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