OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man has been charged with stealing more than $20,000 worth of religious artifacts from a local synagogue.

Nassau County police said Alexander Membreno, 30, took the items from the Oceanside Jewish Center where he worked as a building superintendent.

“What was taken were the silver decorative pieces from the ark, so they’re crowns, breastplates, pointers that are used for the reading of the Torah,” Rabbi Mark Greenspan told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

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During their investigation, police said they discovered that Membreno, who lived in an apartment on the temple grounds, had pawned many of the items for cash at a local pawn shop.

Greenspan is hoping the items will be returned.

Membreno was charged with two counts of grand larceny. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in court on Tuesday.


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