Man sought for stealing Torah scrolls valued at $200K from synagogue

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MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WPIX) – The NYPD is looking for a man accused of stealing four Torah scrolls from a Brooklyn synagogue Tuesday.

The sacred texts valued at $200,000 were taken from Avenue O Synagogue around 1 a.m., police said. Surveillance video obtained by PIX11 shows the culprit, who is described to be in his 20s, entering the place of worship while apparently wearing a yarmulke, but it is unknown if the individual is Jewish.

City councilman David G. Greenfield says the burglary is "especially upsetting" because it occurred during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah – a time where observant Jews around the world celebrate the annual completion of the weekly reading of the Torah portion.

He is offering $1,000 reward for an imminent arrest of the "despicable criminal" and return of the Torahs.

"I will award $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the capture and conviction of the despicable criminal who committed this crime," Greenfield said. "We will not tolerate this outrageous criminal activity in our community."

Anyone with information that could help in solving this crime is encouraged call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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