Durham Regional Police have launched an investigation into anti-Semitic graffiti that was found by a Whitby resident over the weekend.

Investigators say that the resident found several hand-written signs containing anti-Semitic language and symbols in both Peel Park and an area near Burns and Athol streets on Sunday.

Const. George Tudos told CTV News Toronto that police are taking the incident seriously.

“It is disturbing to find something like that,” he said.

The words were hand-written on three pieces of scrap wood and placed where citizens would see them.

“Sometimes these words can be very hurtful and symbols as well, especially when it is directed to somebody’s specific ethnicity,” said Tudos.

Rabbi Tzali Borenstein of the Chabad Jewish Centre in Whitby said there is a small Jewish community in Durham Region, but the incident is still very painful.

“There’s people in the community that remember the holocaust, lived through the holocaust, and it brings everything back today”.

Borenstein said it is not the first time there has been anti-Semitic acts in the region, but he hopes this time the culprits are just drunken teenagers who do not understand the significance of their actions.

“Whoever did this, please stop, it really hurts people and you might think it is just fun, but it really hurts people”.

No information has been released about potential suspects.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to reach out to Durham police or call Crime Stoppers anonymously.