Police are investigating after a menorah was vandalized and stolen from a Brookline, Massachusetts synagogue early Wednesday morning.
Authorities believe multiple thieves ripped a 6-foot-tall, 300-pound menorah out of the ground at Temple Emeth on Grove Street, vandalized it, then ditched it in the area of Church and Weld streets in West Roxbury where police discovered it at about 6 a.m.
Photos of the menorah show that it was bent and several light bulbs were broken.
The menorah has since been returned to the temple and the hope is that it can be repaired.
"I think that the police feel that the weight of it and also the fact that it's so recognizable made the thieves feel that they'd just better get rid of it and drop it because no good would come to them from it," Rabbi Alan Turetz of Temple Emeth said Wednesday morning.
He said he thinks the menorah was stolen in an attempt to sell it for metal and hopes it was not a hate crime.
"I was upset. I've had no vandalism in practically all of my years here," said Turetz.
He said the temple will be adding more security cameras and hopes that the menorah can be repaired.
"We've upped security and continue to do so because as I mentioned to you in 2018, one cannot safely put one's head in the sand," said Turetz.
Police said the motive remains unclear but with anti-semitic attacks around the county, the incident is being taken seriously.
"Right now, officers believe it may have been a target of a theft for salvage," said Brookline Police Lt. Philip Harrington. "It hasn't closed the door of a hate crime but right now we don’t have those elements."
The case remains under investigation.