First Report: Four Sifrei Torah Stolen from Flatbush Shul Recovered (Video)

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First report: Four Sifrei Torah stolen from a shul on Avenue O in Flatbush, Brooklyn, on Simchas Torah morning have been recovered this morning, has learned.

The Sifrei Torah were stolen on Tuesday at 1 a.m., just hours after they were used for Hakafos by the mispallelim of the Syrian/Sefardic shul, known as the Avenue O Synagogue or Ohel Yeshua V’Sarah and led by its rov, Rav Shmuel Beyda.

The thief himself, or an accomplice, returned the Sifrei Torah, and a man learning at the shul early this morning found them in bags outside the building as he exited the shul at about 1:30 a.m.

Video surveillance shows a man pulling an unmarked van up to the front of the shul this morning at about 1 a.m. and unloading the Sifrei Torah, which were in black garbage bags. After depositing them in front of the bet knesset, the man drove off.

The theft of the Sifrei Torah, valued at about $240,000, was first reported by on Motzoei Yom Tov.

“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,” stated Josh Mehlman, Chairman of the FJCC.

While the Sefardic-style Sifrei Torah have been found, as pictured above, the thief, a white man in his 20s who may or may not be Jewish but was wearing a yarmulka during the burglary, remains at large.
Councilman David G. Greenfield hailed the work of the NYPD and community members after the safe return of the Sifrei Torah.
Greenfield says that a monetary reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the burglar, along with the release of surveillance camera images of the criminal, may have contributed to the pressure the thief felt to return the Sifrei Torah. “I am thrilled that these Torah scrolls, stolen by a shameful coward in the dead of night on Simchat Torah, were returned last night,” Greenfield said.

“I want to thank the officers of the 66th Precinct, the Major Case Squad, Brooklyn South Chief Powers and all those in the NYPD and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to achieve the return of these Torah scrolls,” Greenfield said. “I look forward to continuing to work with them as they seek out the person who committed this crime.”

Greenfield is offering an award of $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the capture and conviction of the criminal who committed this crime, while the FJCC announced a $10,000 reward to help find the thief.

Anyone with information that could help in solving this crime is encouraged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers tip line at 1.800.577.TIPS. The NYPD’s 66th Precinct and Major Case Squad are actively investigating.


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{ Newscenter}


      • C’mon! It is well known that there is a major Shaila about having video cameras running on שבת ויו”ט in such a situation.

        .עס איז נישט כדאי אז די ערלים זאל’ן וויסען אבער אסאך שולען פארלעשין די מצלמים אויף שאבעס און יאנטיף

        Rav Elyashiv almost assered going to the Kosel on Shabbos (heard in the name of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and he has the תשובה in his sefer) and held (if I remember correctly) that one should lechatchila not go. Rav Vozner has a Teshuva (chelek tes I believe) where he holds that it is ok to pass by a street camera but not to run one in ones home or shul.

        The issue would probably be the Melacha of Koseiv

  1. Returned just like that? Same hour both times? This story is getting stranger and and stranger by the minute. Now of course Matzav feels the need to edit and sensor every comment that they are too dumb to understand, but that’s to be expected. No inside details will be allowed on this communist website. Good luck.

  2. The fellow who dropped off the Torah’s almost looks like a delivery guy. Very non-chalant about it. Very relaxed. Of course if they find him they can ask him lots of questions like who gave these “bags” to him.

  3. What a fool. Of course its no licha lei day to day. Its only useful when it catches someone. Otherwise, no one looks at it or bothers with it. But if there is chesurun kis or pikuech nefesh involved, it becomes nichei lei after the fact. There is no L’mifraya issur.
    We pasken like ABaye- yiush seloh medaas is not yiush, there is no retroactivity.
    As for ed zomen, which abaye rules is retroactive, thats because that is the clarification of the fact that he was a liar from the get go. the later discovery does not change the fact that he was a posul ed day one. Here we look at the time of the recording and it was not Nichei lei at that time.
    same with gilui daas by gittim, no retoractivity.

    • Wow! Who is the fool? It goes to show how a little information in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Please please don’t attempt to pasken shailos for yourself or anyone else.

      If you want to say that it is only nicha lei when a thief walks in and not when regular mispalelim are there then it has nothing to do with l’mafraya.

  4. “The thief himself, or an accomplice, returned the Sifrei Torah, and a man learning at the shul early this morning found them in bags outside the building as he exited the shul at about 1:30 a.m.”
    …I wish I lived in a community where people learned until 1:30 a.m.


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