Brooklyn man sentenced to prison for robbing matzah factory ahead of Passover


(New York Jewish Week) — A Brooklyn man was sentenced to prison for robbing a Williamsburg matzah factory as it prepared for Passover.

Muntaquim Durant, 44, stole cash and checks worth over $94,000 from the Satmar Matzah Bakery on Broadway, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. 

The Kings County Criminal Court sentenced Durant, a resident of Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, to two and a half to five years in prison for the crime.

Durant broke into the Williamsburg bakery on Feb. 28, five weeks before the start of Passover. The bakery was gearing up to make matzahs for the holiday at the time of the robbery, Gonzalez said in a statement.

Surveillance footage showed Durant entering the building at around 9:50 a.m and searching through jackets on a coat rack. He then went upstairs, poured himself a coffee, and forced his way into a locked office. He left the room seconds later with what appeared to be a wad of cash and checks stuffed into his pockets, the district attorney’s office said.

An employee, who later found checks strewn around the floor of the office, saw that cash and checks were missing. The stolen cash amounted to $60,000 and the checks totaled $34,000.

A detective on the case used the surveillance footage to create a wanted poster, and other investigators identified Durant, who was wanted in connection with other burglaries. Durant was arrested by the NYPD during a routine traffic stop on March 15.

He was charged with grand larceny, illegal entry, criminal possession of stolen property and other charges. There were no hate crimes charges.

“This defendant brazenly broke into a religious institution that was gearing up to make matzahs before the start of a Jewish holiday. He was caught red handed and will now be held responsible,” Gonzalez said in a statement.