Almost a week after it was stolen from the home of a prominent Brooklyn rabbi, a three-foot-tall silver menorah is back safely in its home in Borough Park.
When asked how it felt to have his antique menorah back, Rabbi Yehezkel Zion answered:
“Light. Light. This is a symbol of light. To have something like that back it light’s the whole house.”
The thief, 25-year-old Denis Idlatov broke into the home at 999 East 5th Street at 10:30pm last Tuesday, coming in through an unlocked back door. A home video security system clearly caught him carrying the menorah, valued at $10,000, but it took the police the better part of a week to catch up with him. Idlatov was arrested by police on Monday night, but not before he returned to the Zion home for a bit more silver. The second time Idlatov came in disguise wearing a bandana over his face.
Idlatov returned to his apartment on Ocean Parkway with the menorah packed into a large garbage bag, wearing the same clothing he dressed in for the burglary, a yarmulke, white shirt and black pants. Idlatov picked the clothes so he would not appear suspicious walking around in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.
According to members of the Brooklyn South Shomrim Patrol, a neighborhood security organization, Idlatov is likely responsible for several other burglaries in the area. It is believed that he may have used a store in the neighborhood to fence his stolen goods and get cash in exchange for them.
Simcha Bernath, the coordinator of BSSP said that,
“If it would be repeatedly and from the same guy, especially stuff that we see, like a menorah worth thousands of dollars that would be quite interesting and suspicious.”