Crime

Man accused of stealing ancient artifact valued at $30,000 from Kentucky hospital.

A man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing an expensive Torah from Jewish Hospital in Louisville.

The Torah, an ancient artifact often including scribed Jewish teachings and practice, was valued at $30,000, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department.

James David Macon, 27, is accused of stealing the artifact in a location of the hospital he was not authorized to be, his arrest citation states.

The Torah was secured, but intentionally kept in a public area of the hospital to be in the presence of patients, employees and guests, said David McArthur, Senior Manager of Media Relations for KentuckyOne Health.

Tuesday, two days after Macon allegedly stole the Torah, he was stopped by hospital security personnel who had recognized him from security video. Macon was allegedly wearing the same clothes he wore the night of the theft, his arrest citation states.

A detective verified the suspect was Macon, and he was arrested on theft by unlawful taking and burglary charges, according to his arrest citation.

McArthur said the Torah has minimal damage.

“Jewish Hospital is especially grateful to the individuals who found and recovered our Torah ... It is unfortunate that anyone would tamper with such a sacred document,” he said in a statement.

Macon has been placed in Louisville Metro Corrections.

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