Nine scrolls of Torah were snatched from the Maase Rokach synagogue in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood Sunday morning – a break-in robbery that police said involved four thieves.
According to The New York Times, the robbery took place early in the morning, and was only noticed later in the day, when someone in the synagogue observed that the door to the basement, where the sacred texts were stored, was damaged and numerous books were missing.
Stealing Torah scrolls can be a lucrative business, as the items are highly valuable — they are transcribed by hand on special animal skin and often covered with gold or silver.
A synagogue in Midwood had four Torah scrolls taken during the holiday of Simchat Torah last year - only to have the documents later returned in a black garbage bag. Other high-profile robberies have taken place in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods home to large Orthodox Jewish communities, like Boro Park, Midwood and Far Rockaway.