Police: Man burglarized Philadelphia mosque twice

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Thief breaks into Philadelphia mosque. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on July 27, 2017. (WPVI)

The Philadelphia Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying a man wanted in the burglary of a mosque.

"To steal from the house of God, I don't get it," mosque member Kebba Sinthateh said.

Surveillance video shows the suspect on a BMX bike ride up to Islamic Society of Greater Philadelphia Mosque at 7252 Roosevelt Boulevard on July 12th and manipulate the bottom of the door to get inside.

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Surveillance of suspect in mosque burglary

Police believe the thief was familiar with the building.

"He looked like he knew where he was going. He went to the prayer area, just outside of it where they have donation boxes; he rips them open and steals money and leaves," Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum said.

Five days later, he returned.

"The donation boxes were no longer on the wall so he went to the safe with a pair of scissors, obviously could not get into the safe," Rosenbaum said.

Before leaving, the burglar stopped at the water cooler and took a drink.

Mosque members told detectives they believed the man may have worshipped there so they delayed reporting the break-ins.

"They were trying to find him and see what he needed to help him out, if he's down on his luck," Rosenbaum said.

Now, police are asking for the public to take a good look at this suspect's face.

He'll likely face charges and tough questions from members.

"You steal from your own mosque? That's absurd. I cannot understand that," Sinthateh said.

It's believed the thief got away with less than $100.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.
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