Synagogue burglar makes off with Corolla, $30,000 Torah

Police provided this photo of a Torah which they say is "similar" to the one that was stolen.

A car theft in Flatbush ended up costing a local rabbi more than just a 2007 Corolla: the thief also made off with a $30,000 Torah that was in the trunk.

Walter Rosenblatt, the acting president of Agudath Sholom, one of the two congregations at 3714 18th Avenue, thinks the thief snuck into the synagogue during Friday’s Sabbath services when the doors are left open to the public, and stole the keys as well as the money from the synagogue’s collection box.

The car belonged to the rabbi of the second congregation, Emet V’emunah, “who also happens to be a scribe,” Rosenblatt explained.

“He was repairing it or checking it for errors or whatever and he was running a little bit late on Friday afternoon, and I guess he decided that he wouldn’t have enough time to bring the Torah into the synagogue and lock it up and still be in time for the [Sabbath] services,” Rosenblatt said. “Nobody counted on an intruder coming into the synagogue.”

Rosenblatt said the room where the keys were placed wasn’t in use, so the burglar “could’ve stealthily gone into that room, not seen by anyone.”

The police reported the Torah’s value as $30,000. Rosenblatt could not confirm that figure, he said, but it “doesn’t seem like an outrageous number.”

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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