Cops are looking for a thief who swiped two valuable silver Torah crowns from the basement of a Queens synagogue during services last week, police said.
The crowns, worth about $1,500 to $3,000, were taken by a man who picked up a prayer book before slipping downstairs on Thursday, officials said. Temple members also realized Wednesday that a silver breast plate and pointer were missing.
Members of the synagogue, Young Israel of Queens Valley on 77th Avenue, first noticed the items were missing when they took the Torahs out of the ark on Saturday, said George Srolovits, executive director of the temple. At first they thought they'd been taken to be polished, but when they could not be found they watched security camera video and saw what happened, he said.
"I feel much more vulnerable. Insecure. Sad that this could happen in this day and age," Srolovits said. The crowns, he said, "are decorative of the holy Torah and we use them out of respect. They're adornments. They also have tremendous sentimental value because they are usually donated by people of a synagogue in memory of a departed loved one."
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
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