Police search for man in connection to house of worship robbery in Riverdale

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Police are searching for a man who they say robbed a house of worship in Riverdale last Thursday.

Police tell News 12 the suspect was able to get into the Hebrew Institute by picking a window lock. Surveillance video captured the suspect getting into the building and going downstairs just before 2 a.m.

Police tell News 12 the suspect is a man with a thin build. They say he stole two cellphones and an iPod and took off in a light-colored Dodge in an unknown direction.

They say he was last seen wearing tan pants and a white hoodie with black stripes down the side. Police also say he was carrying a black bag.

News 12 spoke with Rabbi Steven Exler who says that to his knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened at the house of worship before.

"It's just upsetting and disturbing and not the way I wish the world was. We're a religious institution and the message we try to put out to the world is kindness and respect and when that feels violated, particularly in a house of worship, it feels violating," said Exler.

He tells News 12 they have a great maintenance staff who are always working to keep the building safe, but that the whole situation is unfortunate.

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