Synagogue burglarized Christmas Day; video of suspects released

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Renee Stoll reporting live from Queens (WABC)

Police are looking for two suspects in the Christmas Day burglary of a Queens synagogue.

Between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 25, the suspects entered the Shuva Israel Synagogue at 147-05 70 Road through an open door. According to the New York City Police Department, they removed an undetermined amount of money from a box inside.

"As they came through the back window, one of them opened up the back door and let the other subject in," said Daniel Potash, synagogue treasurer.

Synagogue leaders said the thieves took as much as $4,000 from charity boxes, money that helps the community, and was supposed to eventually help buy the building. Shuva Israel had planned to buy the building it has rented for the last seven years.

"It was very sad for us because we've never been through anything like this before," said Adir Azuley, who worships at the synagogue.

The two suspects also vandalized the synagogue's holy Torah.

"They got to where the Torah scrolls are and it's locked behind two doors so they broke down the doors and they realized for them it wasn't worth anything," said Potash. "For us, it's worth the world."

Potash said he's been talking with other synagogues in the area to see if they also were hit by the thieves, but it's unclear if it's the same suspects.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 800-577-TIPS.
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