The seemingly professional thieves who have spent two months preying on Queens mosques have struck some targets more than once, victims said.
Some groups also claim that they are being treated unfairly by the NYPD specifically because they are Muslim.
Najee Hassan, security guard and maintenance worker at the Ahlul-Quran-Qa-Sunnah mosque in Jamaica, said that twice in the last three weeks, thieves have broken into the house of worship and stolen thousands of dollars in donations.
Hassan called the thieves “ingenious,” while decrying their crime, as they used the mosque’s own tools, including a hacksaw and crowbar, to pry open the heavy iron donation boxes and bypass heavy locked doors.
Hassan suspects that, as with the other robberies in the alleged crime spree, the thieves disguised themselves as worshippers at a late evening prayer, then hid in a bathroom or boiler room until everyone had left for the night.
“They were only here for the money,” Hassan said. “They left expensive equipment, our PA system and microphones.”
Hassan said that the mosque is hurt doubly by the theft of charitable donations because their modest income is provided only by the daily tithings they receive from people who stop in for prayer.
“We’re not financially stable on our own to continue without donations,” he said. “We get regular, working-class people in here who donate so they can worship.” (MORE)