A thief was busted at a Williamsburg hat store for attempting to pawn off a stolen shtreimel, the distinctive fur-and-velvet hat worn by many Hasidic Jews. The alleged thief, Robert Giuff, brought the hat—which he said he found next to garbage on the street—to a store where he tried to sell it for $350, which is not the smartest move when the owner's name is written inside.
The store's owner immediately noticed the name and phone number of the shtreimel's righful owner written inside of the hat. When the owner, Moishe Horowitz, was reached, he said that someone had broken into his car overnight. “I got a call from the hat store,” said Horowitz, who immediately called the cops. “So I ran over right away. I felt very relieved." Giuff, who the Daily News helpfully notes has seven prior misdemeanors and is currently in a court-mandated drug program, was charged with grand larceny and is currently being held on $5,000 bail.
Shtreimels are traditionally worn by men on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. They are typically custom-made for their owners using real fur, and are almost always the most expensive article of Hasidic clothing, ranging from $1,000-$5,000 a pop. So in other words, Giuff's real mistake was not knowing the market value of his stolen goods.