Rabbi busts trio of thieves stealing copper memorials from historic synagogue

| October 12, 2011

Three punks were charged with breaking into a historic Lower East Side synagogue after a rabbi spotted them trying to steal copper memorials from a wall.

Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum was checking on Beth Hamedrash Hagadol on Sunday when he saw the men stacking the plates inside the Norfolk Street landmark, which has been closed for several years.

"I ran out and called the cops immediately," Greenbaum said. "I just wanted to cry at seeing such desecration."

Jose Cruz, Ambioris Gonzalez and Carlos Rodriguez were charged with burglary and damaging houses of worship or religious articles for the break-in at the temple, which is the oldest Russian Jewish Orthodox congregation in the country.

In addition to trying to make off with the copper memorials, which list the names of deceased synagogue members, the three men are accused of damaging several religious articles, including prayer books, a scroll and an ark.

"I was checking on some Hebrew books when I saw them," Greenbaum said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/10/11/2011-10-11_rabbi_busts_trio_of_thieves_stealing_sacred_copper_memorials_from_synagogue_.html#ixzz1aakgf2GO

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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