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Two arrested for allegedly stealing 30 Torah scrolls

December 23, 2010 03:44

Suspects from Jerusalem and Hadera may have broken into synagogues in Negev villages of Yated, Shuva and Pri Gan.

STOLEN TORAH scrolls that were recovered by police

stolen torahs 311. (photo credit:Israel Police)

Two suspects from Jerusalem and Hadera are set to be indicted Friday on charges of stealing 30 Torah scrolls from synagogues across the South and the Central region.

Police have been investigating several synagogue breakins in recent months, in which the suspects had covered up any signs of a robbery.

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As a result, worshipers only discovered that the scrolls were missing when they went to take them out of the holy ark to read from during prayers.

Then the duo allegedly struck in the Negev region in November, breaking into synagogues in the villages of Yated, Shuva and Pri Gan, leading Southern District Police chief Cmdr. Yohanan Danino to set up a special investigative team.

The detectives obtained clues from the crime scene in Pri Gan that led them to a suspect in Jerusalem, who has past convictions for property offenses.

The suspect and another man allegedly gathered intelligence on the synagogues before the break-ins and analyzed levels of security before acting, preferring synagogues in small communities due to laxer security measures.

“These thefts harmed the holy places of Israel and cause enormous economic damage, as well as sorrow,” Danino said on Wednesday.
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