The Time Bandit

Nov 5, 2012 - by Deborah Rubin Fields - 0 Comments

In 1983, over 100 antique clocks – worth millions of dollars – were stolen from the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem

In 1983, over 100 antique clocks – worth millions of dollars – were stolen from the L.A.MayerMuseum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem. It took 25 years for the clocks to find their way back home. Sometimes it just takes time to solve a crime.

by Deborah Rubin Fields

Have you ever been stumped by a puzzle? Admittedly, some puzzles take a long time to solve. I think you’ll agree, however, it does seem to be “stretching it” to plug away at a puzzle for 25 years.

Yet, Jews are known as a “stiff-necked people (Exodus 32:9).”  So perhaps this explains why Israeli police struggled for a quarter of a century to solve the puzzle of 102 (a number of media reports had stated 106) missing clocks. One spring night in 1983, these time pieces disappeared from Jerusalem’s L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art.  

You’ve probably figured out that these museum clocks were not your utilitarian house or office clocks. They weren’t meant to hang on your kitchen wall or to sit on your nightstand. They were classy antiques. Some were inlaid with jewels. Many had been cast from gold. One had even belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette.

Altogether, they were worth millions of dollars. So you see why the police wanted to crack the clock mystery. Given the magnitude of the theft, a special task force within the Israeli police (which is a national service) was set up to work on this case. Reportedly, Interpol was contacted and the company which had insured the collection hired private investigators.

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