Stolen Torah scrolls returned to NY synagogue

Four Torah scrolls stolen from a Brooklyn synagogue returned.

David Rosenberg ,

Torah scroll (illustrative)
Torah scroll (illustrative)
Flash 90

Worshippers at a Brooklyn synagogue rejoiced Friday morning when it was discovered that four Torah scrolls which had been recently stolen were returned.

The four scrolls, valued at some $240,000, were stolen during the Simchat Torah holiday earlier this week from the Avenue O Synagogue in Flatbush.

Security cameras showed the suspected thief, a man in his 20s wearing a kippah, entering the synagogue and making off with the scrolls.

Synagogue officials say the building was locked at the time and it is unclear how the man was able to enter.

But after extensive efforts by the New York Police Department and local Jewish officials, it appears the thief had a change of heart, perhaps feeling the pressure of the ongoing investigation.

At 1:30 a.m. local time, a member of the synagogue participating in late-night study session discovered four large bags placed outside of the building entrance. Upon inspection, they were found to contain the four stolen Torah scrolls.

Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition chairman Josh Mehlman welcomed the return of the scrolls and praised the investigators who had worked towards their recovery.

“Thanks to the coordinated community efforts working in tandem with the NYPD and Flatbush Shomrim, it seems that the enormous pressure has thank G-d forced the late night return of the Torahs" said Mehlman.

Returned Torah scrolls Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition