A precious crown stolen from a Hollywood synagogue in June has been found, authorities said.
The silver crown, which traditionally rests on the Torah, was stolen from the Chabad of the Ocean, 7 Seacrest Parkway, on June 15. It turned up in a gold-buying store in northeast Miami-Dade County, where the owner became suspicious and decided to notify authorities.
"How many Torah crowns are there going to be floating around?" said Michael Caplan, owner of Mr. Gold Buyer on 16167 Biscayne Boulevard. "It's not something you keep in the house; the only place you find a Torah crown is in a synagogue."
Alexander Gesin, 44, of Aventura, was arrested by North Miami police officers when he admitted to using his ID to sell the item for profit, police said.
In June, Rabbi Dovid Kudan, director of the Chabad, was preparing for a Friday night service at the synagogue when someone noticed a window was broken. He immediately checked the Aron Kodesh, the holy ark where Torah scrolls are kept, and was relieved to see the scrolls in place, but the crown was gone.
"Right away we were concerned for the Torah scrolls," Kudan said. "People sometimes will steal the scrolls because they are worth a lot of money, and then they will try to sell it."
The crown was given to the Chabad in the early 1990s by an Auschwitz survivor who died in recent years. Now, Kudan is patiently awaiting its return by police. continue...