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Dyker Heights man charged for burglarizing synagogues, Jewish school

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A Dyker Heights man faces up to more than four decades in prison for allegedly burglarizing no less than six Borough Park stores and facilities, including two synagogues and a Jewish school, in September and October.

Prosecutors in two Nov. 19 arraignments slapped the 50-year-old with charges including third-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny, and other counts for his purported crimes, which Brooklyn’s top prosecutor called particularly despicable for targeting houses of worship.

“This defendant is allegedly a professional burglar whose crime spree violated the sanctity of religious institutions, among other places, from which he stole cash and religious items,” Gonzalez said. “We will now seek to hold him accountable.”

The man’s serial stealing spree allegedly included the following incidents:

• A Sept. 15 burglary at an 18th Avenue store between 45th and 46th streets around 1:30 am.

• The theft of two silver crowns used in religious services from 39th Street’s Kedishas Aharon Synagogue between 13th and 14th avenues around 1:30 am on Sept. 25.

• Another Sept. 25 robbery, when man broke into a 13th Avenue store between 46th and 47th streets around 2:20 am.

• An Oct. 7 burglary at 15th Avenue’s Gan Yisroel School between 39th and 40th streets just after 1:20 am.

• An Oct. 8 break-in at 13th Avenue’s Seret Wiznitz Synagogue between 48th and 49th streets around 4:20 am.

• An Oct. 21 burglary at an 18th Avenue store at 48th Street around 4:25 am.

Cops cuffed the guy two days after his last purported break-in using facial-recognition software to identify him, according to Gonzalez, who said the defendant later identified himself on surveillance footage recorded at the crime scenes, and told police where he stashed the stolen religious items.

A rep for Gonzalez could not comment further on what the man allegedly stole in each incident.

The man, whom Supreme Court Justice William Miller ordered be held on $75,000 bail, is due back in court on Jan. 11, according to prosecutors.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 12:22 pm, November 26, 2018
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