Brooklyn, NY – Congregants at a Sephardic synagogue in Brooklyn were devastated this morning by the theft of four sifrei Torah.
Police said that the Torahs were stolen at 12:13 AM Tuesday morning from the Avenue O Synagogue which was closed and locked at the time. Congregants arriving at 8 AM at the synagogue, located at 808 Avenue O, noticed the missing Torahs and called police.
The NYPD said the surveillance video shows a white male wearing a black yarmulka removing the four Torahs from the synagogue. Police said that the stolen Torahs had a total value of $240,000.
Councilman David Greenfield said that police are actively canvassing the area hoping for leads in the crime which he described as “heinous.”
“They are out there right now talking to people,” Greenfield told VIN News. “We’re hoping to get more people to volunteer information to give police in the hopes that we will catch the person who did this.”
Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who took the Torahs.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind said that the timing of the theft was particularly upsetting. He expressed full confidence in the NYPD’s ability to locate the missing Torahs and apprehend the person responsible for the burglary.
“We all know what a sefer Torah represents,” said Hikind. “When a sefer Torah is taken it is like part of your heart is taken.”