New TV, DVD player stolen from synagogue

| December 14, 2009

Thieves have spoiled the start of Hanukkah for Belleville's Jewish community.

A brand-new television, a DVD player and bottles of liquor were discovered stolen from the Sons of Jacob Synagogue on Victoria Avenue Monday morning. Jewish community president Mary Cohen said it's the third break-in there in as many years.

There has also been several cases of vandalism, including the painting of swastikas and hate slogans on the building, in the past few years.

"Honestly, I'm completely discouraged," Cohen said.

She said the caretaker arrived Monday morning to clean up from a Sunday party and found a window broken and the items missing.

"It took us 30 years to gather the money to buy this TV," a dispirited Cohen said. "It was a week old."

Just a day earlier, Cohen had told The Intelligencer she was proud to live in the city because it welcomed small religious communities such as the Jewish community of Sons of Jacob. About 60 people worship at the synagogue.

"It's so upsetting that the people in Belleville can actually stoop that low and break into places of worship and do this," Cohen said. "I'm kind of shocked by it."

City police said they were called to the synagogue at 8:53 a.m. Monday. Patrol and forensic officers investigated, but Sgt. Beth Harder said no further information was available.

Cohen urged anyone with information about the break-in to contact police at 613-966-0882. Anonymous tips are eligible for a cash reward if made through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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