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8 Arrested for Synagogue Thefts

Police have charged eight teenagers as members of a gang that took thousands of dollars in property from synagogues, yeshivas and commercial establishments in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay area during the past two years. The father of one of the suspects, William Scanlon, 42, of E. Fourth St., was charged with criminal possession of stolen goods and endangering the welfare of minors. The youths ranged in age from 13 to 18.

The motives of the gang were mercenary and appeared not to be due to anti-Semitism, according to police officials. Police said that leads to the gang’s activities were developed when they were investigating a fire Nov. 21 at the Sephardic Institute of Higher Learning which killed one man and injured several firemen. Although the fire was not linked to the gang, police said, it stirred rumors about the group’s activities that detectives began checking out.

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