The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) website reports today (April 14, 2012) that a synagogue custodian in Massachusetts pleaded guilty this week to stealing gold and silver religious items from his place of employment.
Donald Spencer III, 29, stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of items from Temple Emanuel in Worcester -- including Torah shields, a Havdalah set, and a Kiddush cup -- worth more than $70,000. Some of the items were artifacts rescued from Nazi Germany.
Most of the stolen items -- which Spencer sold at a pawnshop -- were melted down for scrap before police could find them.
Spencer was sentenced in Worcester Superior Court to four to five years in a state prison.