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Police Investigating Incidents At 2 Brooklyn Synagogues

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD is on alert after two incidents at separate Brooklyn synagogues this weekend.

In the first incident, two men took videos and pictures of the Bet Yaakob synagogue at 1801 Ocean Pkwy. around 4:15 p.m. Saturday, police said. A security guard asked them to leave.

"We have to catch these guys," one member of the synagogue who did not want to be identified told CBS2's Janelle Burrell.

About an hour later, investigators believe the same men attempted to enter another synagogue, Congregation Beth Torah, at 1061 Ocean Pkwy., Burrell reported.

Police Investigating Incidents At 2 Brooklyn Synagogues

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said the same men were involved both times. He said the pair's explanation for being there doesn't make sense.

"You have these two young men described as Middle Eastern background by the security office of each location. The same two individuals visiting during prayers, one of them says he wants to see what a prayer looks like," Hikind said. "Something is not kosher."

Hikind, who represents the district where the two synagogues are located, said he met with members of the NYPD on Saturday night and that police are taking the incidents "very seriously."

"Those two individuals yesterday were not going to pray at the synagogue," Hikind told WCBS 880. "We don't take chances today. This day and age, with terrorism, with the threat, a couple of guys in Brooklyn arrested only a week ago or so -- this is very, very serious, and hopefully the police will apprehend these two individuals and find out who they are and what they were planning and what their background is."

Bob Moskowitz with the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol said his organization has been receiving calls about suspicious activity for months now.

"There's no question that this is lighting a fire underneath everybody (with) everything that's going on in the rest of the world in Europe, etc.," he told 1010 WINS' Kevin Rincon.

Police said at this point, they just want to speak with the two men seen in the videos to ask them why they were there and what was the reason for them taking photos, Burrell reported.

Investigators said the pair left the synagogue in a blue Honda with Delaware plates.

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