LOS ANGELES (JTA) –A burglar targeted the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Southern California, making off with three sets of tefillin, two computers, a video projector and other valuables.
The burglar, whose image was caught on a security camera, entered the Chabad house, located near the USC campus in central Los Angeles, shortly after midnight on July 13, according to police.
Though it normally houses seven students, the Chabad center was undergoing extensive construction and was empty, so the suspect worked undisturbed and methodically.
According to the security video, he stayed initially for about two hours, opening every door and closet, said Rabbi Dov Wagner, director of the Chabad center.
The burglar then left and returned three hours later, spent the next 30 minutes transferring the loot into the trunk of his car, and drove off around 5:30 a.m. The value of the stolen items totals between $8,000 and $10,000.
Construction workers arrived two hours later, noticed that their tools had been stolen, and called Wagner, who notified the police.
So far, authorities have not identified the burglar but Wagner said he did not think that USC Chabad was targeted specifically as a Jewish institution.
USC students, their parents and alumni have contributed more than $3,000 so far to replace the stolen items.
Wagner posted on his Facebook page, a day after the robbery: “It was a tough day, dealing with the feeling of violation, police reports, and beginning to contemplate the headaches that theft of our computer is going to cause. But it was also a special day, because of how many of you reached out with words of support, love, and contributions.”