Thursday, August 30, 2012

Man Charged with Stealing Religious Items from Three Queens Synagogues

QUEENS — A Kew Gardens man was charged Wednesday with looting more than $3,000 worth of religious items from three Queens synagoues over the summer, authorities said.

Roman Iskhakov, 26, stole items ranging from silver Torah crowns and wine glasses to cash in the burglaries and then sold the items to pawn shops, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

"The defendant is accused of being a one-man crime wave and brazenly breaking into houses of worship and stealing precious religious items," Brown said in a statement.

According to Brown's office, on the morning of June 18, Iskhakov broke into Congregation Ahavath Sholom at 75-02 113th St. and stole torah breast plates, a silver pointer, a wine cup and a silver-coated plate, among other items.

Then, on the morning of Aug. 14, Iskhakov broke into Beth Gavriel Center for Bukharian Jews at 66-35 108th St. and placed a silver plate and a silver pointer in his pocket before looting the charity box of about $200, Brown's office said.

Finally, about 8 p.m. on Aug. 16, Iskhakovbroke into Young Israel of Queens Valley Synagogue and stole two silver Torah crowns, Brown said.

Iskhakov was charged with burglary, larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the DA said.

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