Los Angeles police officers are patrolling synagogues and Jewish cultural centers on Saturday, in the wake of Thursday's blast at the Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica. Authorities are seeking a transient, Ron Hirsch, whom they believe may have been responsible for the explosion.
Hirsch "is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish Community Centers in search of charity from patrons," police said.
In addition to patrolling the Jewish institutions, police are making sure their leaders are aware of the suspect.
"That's one of our priorities, to make contact with people in leadership at the facilities," LAPD Sgt. Richard Parks told Santa Monica Patch on Saturday afternoon.
He added that, of the eight or nine synagogues and cultural centers in his region, "90 percent of them are aware of the incident. We're just checking to make sure [they are,] and that there are no [suspicious] devices."
Parks is with the Pacific Station, located at Culver Boulevard and Centinela Avenue.
"Since we have quite a few [Jewish institutions] in our division, it's prudent for us to make [people] aware" of the situation, he said, adding that Hirsch's transient status may mean he is no longer in Santa Monica.
Police officers will continue patrolling Jewish institutions through the holy season, Parks said. Passover begins at sundown on Apr. 18 and ends on the 25th.
On Friday afternoon, the confirmed that the blast was in fact caused by an explosive device. Following the incident, in which no one was injured, police initially said an explosive device had been responsible. They later attributed the blast to "mechanical failure."
Later that day, the SMPD announced that a police investigation had linked the explosive device to Ron Hirsch. After police issued an alert indicating Hirsch is "extremely dangerous," the Anti-Defamation League sent an alert of its own to hundreds of Jewish institutions in the Los Angeles area.
ADL Regional Director Amanda Susskind speculated to Santa Monica Patch on Saturday morning that the explosion was probably not an act of terror or anti-Semitic in nature.
"[The incident] seems more in the nature of a disturbed individual," she said.