New Square

Ramapo police recover $14,000 shtreimel stolen from a car in New Square

The pricey fur hat, traditionally worn by Hasidic men on Shabbos and holidays, was returned to its owner, and two suspects were arrested

A Hasidic man wearing a shtreimel at a Jerusalem wedding in 2017. Credit: David Cohen 156/Shutterstock

Mar 22, 2024 2:45 PM


Ramapo police have recovered a $14,000 shtreimel that was stolen from a car in New Square and returned it to its owner, according to multiple Haredi news outlets.

The valuable fur hat, which was set to be delivered to a customer by the manager of Gold Shtreimel, a New Square shtreimel shop, was stolen during a nighttime spree of car break-ins in late February. The Haredi news outlet Monsey Scoop said the break-ins took place on Slavita Road and Stern Street. 

Police arrested Fraimy Miguel Morel-Rojas and Jorge Perez for the theft, Detective Lieutenant Chris Franklin told Shtetl. “I don’t think they understood the full value of it,” Franklin said. “I’m sure they knew it had some value, but certainly not to the extent that it did.”

A Hasidic man wearing a shtreimel in Lakewood, New Jersey. Credit: Shtetl

Police worked in coordination with New Square Ershte Hilf, a local volunteer organization that responds to both emergency and non-emergency calls for aid, to identify the thieves. According to the Haredi news outlet Rockland Daily, the police returned the shtreimel to the Gold Shtreimel store manager last Wednesday.

Married Hasidic men of most sects wear shtreimels, or shtreimlech in the Yiddish plural, on Shabbos and Jewish holidays, as well as for festive occasions, such as weddings. In a smaller number of sects, particularly those originating in central or northern Poland, such as Gur, Amshinov, or Aleksander, members wear a spodik, a fur hat that is narrower and taller than a shtreimel.

A shtreimel typically costs thousands of dollars, and is made of sable or marten fur, usually imported from Canada. Per custom, a Hasidic groom receives his first shtreimel for his wedding, with the cost covered by parents and in-laws. 

Hasidic men wearing spodiks in Lakewood, New Jersey. Credit: Shtetl

Shtreimel fashion has evolved over the years, from about four inches tall in the ‘50s and ‘60s to eight inches or more for a top-of-the-line modern shtreimel today. They have also grown significantly more expensive. In the ‘90s, shtreimel prices ranged from $1,000 to $4,000. Today, such prices would be a steal.

This is not the first time a thief set his sights on the furry headgear. In February 2021, ABC7 reported one particularly brazen incident, in which a thief in Williamsburg snatched a shtreimel right off a Hasidic man’s head. That shtreimel was reported to have cost $8,000.