Hate Crimes Task Force Continues Investigation As Mezuzah Thief Strikes Again

A 60th Precinct squad car at the scene of the mezuzah thefts, 3000 Ocean Parkway

The seemingly never-ending scourge of anti-Semitic property defacement throughout Southern Brooklyn continues, as the vandal suspected of ripping seven mezuzot off the doorframes on the 15th, 18th and 19th floors of 3000 Ocean Parkway in Brighton Beach has likely struck again.

According to a 23-year-old resident of the Trump Village Apartments, their mezuzah — a small, encased parchment inscribed with Hebrew Torah verses and affixed to the doorframe in accordance with Jewish law — was stolen on Sunday night.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is continuing to probe the thefts, but the building has no surveillance cameras monitoring its hallways, making it difficult to determine who is committing the crimes, and when.

The building’s property manager, Jack Smith, told Sheepshead Bites last month that “[T]he building security is doing what they can to help the investigation and to protect residents, including an increase in the number of overnight security staff roaming the hallways.

However, he continued, “It’s not the first time such theft has occurred in the Trump Village grounds, which the building is a part of.” Thieves had done the exact same thing in another one of the buildings, “several years back.”

Smith is now being helped by City Councilman Domenic Recchia, who said yesterday that he has helped obtain additional security measures, including more cameras and patrols.

“It is both offensive and disturbing that New Yorkers cannot be openly observant of their faith without suffering egregious attacks of religious intolerance,” Recchia said. “It is our moral duty to our neighbors that we take the proper initiatives to protect and honor their religious freedoms.”

Over the past couple of months, the rash of suspected hate crimes against Jewish residents of Southern Brooklyn includes the torching of three vehicles in Midwood and vandalization of nearby benches with swastikas and “KKK”; vandalism at the Avenue J subway station, anti-Semitic graffiti on cars in Marine Park, as well as swastikas spray-painted on the façade of the Yeshiva of Brooklyn Boys School on Ocean Parkway and the words “Die Jews” and more swastikas spray-painted on the door of an East Fifth Street garage around the corner.

A Jewish man, David Haddad of Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, was arrested for spray-painting the “Die Jews” graffiti on the Midwood garage.