Flatbush Shomrim Patrol has received numerous recent reports of area residents arriving at shul to discover that they have been a victim of a crime. A Tallis with a silver atara, commonplace at any shul, now become a commodity to desperate opportunist. The price of silver has steadily risen over the last several years and each atara can be sold for a hefty price to local dealers. Each row of a silver atara retails for around sixty to eighty dollars. Many people have at least four silver rows. Since last week we have reports of five shuls where several talleisim have had the ataras stolen.
“We must stop these thieves in their tracks before this crime trend becomes more widespread,” said Chaim Deutsch, founder of Flatbush Shomrim “We urge the community to be on alert and report all such crimes and suspicious activity.”
The shuls burglarized had no trace of any break and entry. A thief may remain in a restroom until the shul closes before he ransacks the shul. All shul gabbaim are urged to check that restrooms and other obscure areas are unoccupied when locking up the shul for the night.
For your safety, always have at least two people check the shul for the night before closing.
Always be vigilant of any suspicious characters lurking around your shul and do not assume anyone is not a criminal based on their appearance.
Video surveillance cameras are crucial for all institutions and we highly recommend that they be installed inside the premises as well as outdoors.
The Flatbush Shomrim 24 hour emergency hotline number is 718-338-9797.