Rabbi Leibel Groner on the threshold of his office, the day after. Inside, to the left, stands Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov.
Rabbi Groner's Office Stolen
Attempting to take charge of an office belonging to the Rebbe's secretary Rabbi Leibel Groner
located upstairs in 770, two burglars broke in, in the dead of night, to steal important artifacts belonging to the Rebbe himself. More
By Shmuel Moshe, Chabad Info
20 Nisan 5771 (24.04.2011)
During the famous trial of the Sefarim, the Rebbe said that a burglar knows that the books are not his, but he chooses to steal them. And the best proof for this is that he comes at night. If indeed the books are his, the Rebbe proposed, why doesn't he come during the day?
A similar episode took place recently when R' Gedaliah Shemtov broke into an office in 770 with the help of another Bochur Mendy Alperowitz. The break-in took place during the night, like burglars who knew they were entering someone else's property.
The office was under the jurisdiction of Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe's personal secretary. The Rebbe gave the room to Rabbi Groner for use in his capacity as a senior secretary. This is not the office which Rabbi Groner uses on a regular basis, whose entry is from the side of 770. This office is located upstairs, opposite the small Zal, next door to the office of the hanhola of 770.
In recent years, Rabbi Groner has used the room to store many valuable artifacts and documents, some of which belong to the Rebbe. The Rebbe's two kapotas on which he tore kria in 5710 after his predecessor's passing and in 5725 after the passing of his mother, were among the more notable items in the room.
Recently, Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov decided that he should be granted an office in 770. And for this purpose, the break-in took place. The robbers changed the locks, thus taking over the room, without Rabbi Groner's knowledge.
The intruders waited the next day for Rabbi Groner to go home, and only then did they enter their newly conquered real estate.
Upon learning of his office's fate, Rabbi Groner returned to 770 immediately. He knocked on the door, but the man on the other side ignored his calling. After persistent demands, the door was opened by the "new owners".
Rabbi Groner demanded to receive a key, and that he should be able to remove his possessions from the office. But the impudence prevailed, and the burglars refused to grant his request.
When certain people in high places got involved, Rabbi Groner was given a key. Apparently the key is temporary because the "new tenants" plan to change the locks again.
Reportedly, many items were already missing, including the Rebbe's kapotas and other important documents.