Police have identified a Brooklyn resident as a person of interest in the theft of Torah scrolls from Avenue O Synagogue in Midwood on Tuesday. According to law enforcement sources, the man is 35-years-old and has a known criminal history.
Detectives from the Major Case Bureau are working on tracking down the man, the law enforcement officials told JP Updates.
One of the leaders at the synagogue received a tip from someone who recognized the man that stole the Torahs. This information was then passed on to detectives.
As previously reported, the Torah scrolls are worth approximately $240,000. When members of the synagogue arrived later in the morning, they didn’t realize that the Aron Kodesh had been broken into because the suspect did “a very clean job,” a source familiar with the matter said.
When the hakofos took place, they opened up the Aron Kodesh and were surprised that four Torahs were missing. The leaders thought they were moved to another floor and started searching all three floors. However, they realized the Aron Kodesh seemed to be tampered with and called the police. The police reviewed the video and saw that there was a burglary, an insider from the synagogue told JP.
“Thankfully, the man didn’t steal the three other Torahs that were there,” the insider said.
The NYPD are continuing the investigation and believe they will track down the suspect very soon.
An email was sent by the Flatbush Jewish Community Council announcing there is a $2,500 reward, in addition to the $1,000 reward, offered by Councilman David Greenfield to help find the thief who stole the Torah.
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez personally assured community leaders that every effort will be extended to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law. Any information? Call 800-577-TIPPS