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Man Charged in Forest Hills Temple Robberies

Suspect struck three synagogues in central Queens.

A crime spree that struck into the heart of the Forest Hills Jewish community this summer has ended with an arrest.

A Queens man was charged last week with breaking into and stealing relics from a number of local temples, including two in Forest Hills, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Roman Iskhakov, 26, a Kew Gardens resident, was allegedly caught on camera breaking into synagogues and taking valuable items including torah shields and plates, as well as cash donations. He is charged with burglary, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

The first alleged incident occurred June 18 at  on 113th Street in Forest Hills. Torah shields, a pointer and a wine goblet were stolen, and

Iskhakov allegedly struck the Beth Gavriel Center for Bukharian Jews on 108th Street two months later on Aug. 1, taking more relics and a donation box that contained $200.

The suspect was caught after a third incident at Young Israel of Queens Valley Synagogue in Kew Gardens.

Brown said after his arrest, Iskhakov allegedly told police he pawned the items that he stole.

“The defendant is accused of being a one-man crime wave andbrazenly breaking into houses of worship and stealing precious religious items," Brown said in a statement. He added that Iskhakov "must be held accountable for his actions.”

If convicted, Iskhakov could serve up to seven years in prison. Police from the 112 Precinct helped lead the investigation.

Michelle September 05, 2012 at 01:12 PM
So glad they caught him! I can't believe anyone would steal from a place of worship!

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