Authorities in the S. Paul, Minnesota, suburb of Cottage Grove are investigating the theft of a Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva's only Torah scroll. The school's director discovered the holy item missing last week while inspecting the ark housing it.

"It was Tuesday, Sept. 30, during Sukkot," said Rabbi Mottel Friedman, director of the Yeshiva High School of the Twin Cities, which last month began its second year of operation. "The students were not here, and I happened to see a light on in the ark while I was walking down the hall. I went to turn it off and saw that the Torah was not there."

Students returned to classes on Tuesday, and Friedman said he was expecting to address them about the theft that night. He said that police as of yet have no leads.

"They took some fingerprints," he said. "They're being very, very hopeful."

Friedman said that several area synagogues have offered spare Torahs to the yeshiva to use until the missing scroll is found or replaced. The few students he's spoken with have taken the theft particularly hard.

"A lot of them are going to take this very, very seriously," he explained. "This is not just some money taken out of a tzedakah box."

The rabbi, while expressing the shock that anyone could steal a Torah, was optimistic that no harm would come to the scroll.

"If it's not meant to come back here, it will end up in a good place," he said. "A Torah scroll can take care of itself."