A Jewish Chabad in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood was broken into early Friday morning and had its handmade charity box stolen.
According to police, the same thing happened at a Chabad in Côte-St-Luc two weeks ago.
Bernath first noticed the break-in when he arrived at the Chabad for the Sabbath.
He says he saw the handmade wood-carved donation box had been “yanked off the wall.”
“It was made by a local carpenter, someone from the synagogue,” said Bernath. “It took him a lot of time.”
Bernath said the box was not regularly emptied and could have contained anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Bernath said this is the fourth break-in they’ve had in the past two years.
After their menorah was vandalized in December 2015, the Chabad held a crowd-funding campaign to purchase new security cameras.
“We got the best night vision cameras we could,” said Bernath. “The police couldn’t believe how clear the pictures were.”
They caught the whole thing on camera, noting that the thief spent 45 minutes trying to gain access to the front door and at one point left to return later with tools.
Bernath filed a report with the Montreal police, saying they would put an investigator on it right away.
As for the thief, Bernath wishes him no ill will.
“Obviously this person spent a lot of time to get this money,” he said. “I hope the money serves this person well but that someday he’ll be able to turn his life around.”