Mosque leaders have spoken of their shock after being burgled THREE times in four months.
Thousands of pounds worth of items have been stolen from the Faizan-e-Madina mosque in Accrington since April including cash, computers, gold and charitable donations.
In the latest burglary, the offender forced open a rear exit door and made his way into the main office before escaping with computer equipment and petty cash.
Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident.
Abid Attari, leader of the mosque on Richmond Road, said everyone in the community was ‘devastated’ by the burglaries. He said: “It is just shocking that it has happened at a religious place where all the community comes to pray and free their minds.
“It’s not one person that runs it, it’s everyone in the community who donates money to keep the mosque open and pay the bills. It’s very upsetting. They have effectively stolen from everyone in the community.”
CCTV cameras were installed after the first break-in on April 6 where someone forced open the fire exit and stole a ‘substantial’ sum of cash and some gold.
However, Mr Attari, 36, said the CCTV recording equipment was then stolen later that month on April 28. On that occasion the thieves broke in through a window and stole a 50-inch flat screen TV and £200 earmarked for charity.
The latest burglary took place sometime between 5.30am and 8am on Sunday, August 25.
Mr Attari, who lives in Accrington, said said: “The room where they stole the stuff from was all messed up and everything was upside down. ”
Police said they are keeping an ‘open mind’ as to whether all three offences are linked.
PC Cora Haworth said: “This is the third time this year this particular mosque has been targeted.
“I would appeal to anybody that recognises the man in the CCTV or with any information about this offence to contact Lancashire Police on 101.”