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Rohr Chabad Jewish Center Rabbi Asks For Help in Identifying Burglar

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The rabbi who leads the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center of the University of Southern California today asked for the public’s help to identify the man who broke into the center and stole thousands of dollars in valuables, including religious items.

The burglary happened early Wednesday morning at the Chabad center at 2713 Severence St., said director Rabbi Dov Wagner.

Surveillance video showed the suspect arrived just after midnight to gather the items and returned at 5 a.m. to load items into his white Dodge Caliber hatchback before leaving, Wagner said.

The video shows a slim man with close-cropped dark hair, red shorts and a gray sweatshirt going in and a man wearing dark clothes and a blue baseball cap loading the car. “I am not 100 percent sure it is the same man but it seems pretty certain,” Wagner told City News Service.

Among the items taken during the two-hour burglary were computers, video projectors and three pairs of tefillin — phylacteries containing handwritten scripture from the Torah used by Jewish men for prayer, he said. The tefillin were in a backpack so the burglar might not have known what he was taking.

The center serves as a residence for Jewish USC students but was empty Wednesday morning due to summer vacation and renovations, he said.

Alumni and supporters donated $3,000 in the first 24 hours after the break-in, Wagner said.

“Thousands of Trojans around the world made Chabad@USC their home and these thieves stole from every one of them,” 2014 graduate Aaron Taxy wrote on social media.

“My literal home away from home away from home was broken into,” wrote 2015 USC graduate Joseph Cohan.

Anyone with information about the burglary was asked to call Detective Potter of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Station at (213) 485- 2582.

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