PHOENIX — A historic Phoenix neighborhood is on the lookout after one home was spray-painted with swastikas.
The Nazi, hate symbols are just the latest Bias Crime in a city that has seen a steady, disturbing rise in recent years.
"It was supposed to be a snow weekend. We were going to go snowshoeing," said Alba Rodriguez, who was up in Flagstaff with her partner when she got a call. "I had to drive in the snowstorm to get back here to deal with this - hate."
Rodriguez said she had could hardly believe it when a neighbor told her what exactly was spray-painted on the front of her home.
"There is that feeling of, 'I was targeted,' and I don’t like that feeling," said the architect who became an American citizen after immigrated from Mexico.
"The swastika is one of the most recognizable hate symbols in the world," said Tammy Gillies, Interim Regional Director for ADL in Arizona. "It's really a message crime. So clearly this was meant not just a terrify the family but the entire community."
Unfortunately, communities across metro-Phoenix have been encountering more hate in the form of increased assaults, intimidation, vandalism, and other crimes where investigators determined the victim's race, gender, orientation, or religion was a factor in the crime.
From 2018 to 2019 Phoenix PD reported a 45% increase. There was another 31% rise in 2020.
"I don't stand for racism. We don't condone it," said Mayor Kate Gallego. "We are committed to tracking, to investigating and to stopping these attacks. We know we have to do better."
Mayor Gallego addressed the disturbing numbers and trend earlier this month after the N-word was shouted during Vice Mayor Calvin Goode's funeral.
"I am deeply concerned by the active organizing of white supremacists throughout the United States," she said.
Experts though, worry the online recruiting and organizing of extremists will only lead to more incidents.
"You cannot legislate or arrest your way out of hate. The only way forward is through education," said Gillies.
Rodriguez and her neighbors are all hoping for an arrest.
"Everybody in the neighborhood is looking," said Rodriguez. "The community is watching. The community is on alert."
She also wants whoever scrawled the message to know she refuses to be intimidated by the cowardly act.
"You’re not scaring me away. We are staying in this house," she said.