Federal Way woman finds swastikas painted on her car

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Police are trying to figure out who painted swastikas all over a Federal Way woman’s car.

It’s a hate crime that hits painfully close to home for Michelle Barnes.

“My grandfather was a prisoner of war and through the Holocaust, and it hit me hard,” she said.

Barnes said her Jewish grandfather was held prisoner in a concentration camp in France. She calls the symbols “disturbing.”

“It just made me angry,” she said. “It made me angry. That's why I wanted to take care of it and I just wanted to erase it.”

Barnes found more than half a dozen swastikas painted across her hood last Thursday, right before she drove her 11-year-old son to school.

She said she had no choice but to drive him to school in the vandalized car.

“It's a hate crime,” she said.

Barnes said she has no idea why anyone would put the symbols on her vehicle.

She tried everything she could, including trying to clean the car herself and taking her car to a car wash for any special liquid cleaners they might have.

The paint smeared and faded a little, but it refused to come off.

Barnes called police and filed with her insurance company to get it repainted. It cost $1,100.

When KIRO 7 told neighbors, they immediately checked their own cars.

“That is scary to know,” Brianna Lanier said. “It's good nothing else has happened, but who knows? It could happen again.”

Barnes hopes if people know anything about who vandalized her car or if they had it happen to them as well, they’ll call police.

Federal Way police have not arrested anyone in the crime.