A 6-foot, metal Hanukkah menorah was stolen from borough property in front of the Haddonfield Library overnight Tuesday.
The theft was reported on Wednesday afternoon, police said. An eyewitness reported seeing several police cars with emergency lights on and several men wearing yarmulkes, who appeared to be very agitated, shortly after 1 p.m. today at the scene. Police Chief John Banning confirmed the menorah was reported missing but declined further comment.
A metal bracket bolted to the ground with four screws protruding was all that was left of the menorah on Wednesday afternoon. It stood next to a sign reading: "Chabad Lubavitch wishes you a Happy Chanukah."
The menorah was erected by Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue of Cherry Hill. There are no synagogues in Haddonfield. Separate calls to the synagogue and the rabbi who applied for the menorah permit were not immediately returned.
Chabad Lubavitch has erected the menorah for most of the last decade. It was located near an evergreen tree on borough property that is lighted annually during the holiday season and a Nativity scene erected by a group called the Citizens for a Christian Christmas.
This was the first year for the Nativity scene. Citizens for a Christan Christmas don't believe the decorated evergreen tree is a Christian symbol. A resident complained to the borough commissioners at a meeting on Tuesday that the Nativity scene was obstructing part of the tree and that its proximity to it could give the impression that the borough had sponsored the Nativity scene. Officials Tuesday assured the resident the borough had not sponsored any religious symbols.
"These are not sponsored events," borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said Wednesday. "They ask for permission to put them up and we grant them an event application to put a structure on our property."
A menorah lighting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Library Point, at the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Tanner Street. A borough official said synagogue members intend to erect another menorah. It was not immediately known if it would be erected in time for the ceremony Thursday.
Editor's note: Read an update to this story at .