Man suspected in back-to-back mosque burglaries

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Chandler Police Dept.) (Source: Chandler Police Dept.)

Investigators believe the same suspect broke into two Valley mosques and stole donation cash. A video clip released Wednesday shows the man accused in the March 30 burglaries. Those crimes happened just an hour apart.

Investigators say the suspect targeted the Masjid Bilal Rabah mosque in Maricopa around 10 p.m.,  and then traveled about 30 miles to the Islamic Center of the East Valley in Chandler.

“Seeing the large smile on the face of the man that did this, that's kind of probably the hardest thing,” says the Islamic Center’s activities director Kristy Sabbah.  “Just knowing he looked very content with what he was doing.”

The suspect was able to get inside the Islamic Center through an unlocked door. He then broke a lock to get into the donation bin.

Sabbah says surveillance cameras have always been mounted around the mosque, but there are new protocols for who has keys to the building.

[SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: From the Chandler mosque]

“We’re always telling our congregation and our community to be vigilant, to be aware of their surroundings,” says Sabbah.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 30 and 50 years of age, with a receding hairline. He is between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall. At the time of the burglary, the suspect was wearing a blue shirt under a dark colored jacket, khaki pants and gray shoes.   

Anyone with information about these cases should call Silent Witness at (480) (948-6377).  Silent Witness is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of this suspect.

[RELATED: Cash stolen from Maricopa mosque during break-in]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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