Community and Religious Leaders Attend, Recognize NYPD Detectives for Recovering
Torahs Stolen in August
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly
today presided over the NYPD High Holy Days briefing, held every year ahead of
the Jewish religious holiday observance. Members of the city’s synagogues,
Jewish community cultural centers, civic leaders and NYPD personnel attended.
This year’s briefing was punctuated by the return of eight sacred torahs to the
Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills, a 57-year-old synagogue in Queens. The
handwritten religious scrolls and their accompanying silver crown adornments and
breast plates were
stolen in August from the ark in which they were stored.
“There was no sign of forced entry and no
other physical evidence – this case was solved with diligent investigative
work,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “Today’s presentation of the
torahs not only symbolizes our commitment to one another and the protection of
religious freedom, it also illustrates a job well done by
Detectives from the 107th
Precinct located the torahs within weeks of their disappearance, securing them
and the confession of a former maintenance worker of the Center. Queens District
Attorney Richard A. Brown thanked the police for the recovery at the briefing.
He said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to return the scrolls to the synagogue
in time for Rosh Hashanah with the help of the New York City Police
In addition to the presentation of torahs, the NYPD Intelligence Division
provided an overview of the current security landscape and the Police
Department’s continuing efforts to protect the city against a terrorist
PHOTOS, NYPD Photo Unit: 1, 2) The NYPD Shomrim Honor Guard presents
eight torahs that were returned to the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills after
being stolen in August.
3) Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly presided over the Department's
High Holy Days briefing, held annually ahead of the Jewish religious holidays.
4) (L-R) Sally Goodgold, chair, Jewish Community Relations Council
Commission on Jewish Security; Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Lieutenant
Dennis Klein, commander of the 107th precinct detective squad; Detective Henry
Szachacz and Detective Robert Godberson. Klein, Szachacz and Godberson were
presented with plaques of appreciation for their role in helping to return the
torahs to the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills.