Crime & Courts

Surveillance video released in burglary at Rock Hill mosque

Rock Hill Police are looking for this man accused of breaking into the Islamic Center in Rock Hill on Friday.
Rock Hill Police are looking for this man accused of breaking into the Islamic Center in Rock Hill on Friday. courtesy of Rock Hill Police

A broad-daylight vandalism and break-in at Rock Hill’s only mosque Friday is not being considered a hate crime, police said.

In a 2-minute video police released Monday, the suspect repeatedly hammers at the door glass with a rock so big he needed two hands to wield it. He then uses his elbow several times to smash the glass before reaching through the opening to get inside the mosque. The surveillance video shows the suspect carrying a power saw from the mosque onto Rock Hill’s Main Street.

A witness claims to know the suspect as someone who regularly passes by on foot and bicycle.

Leaders at the mosque are outraged at the vandalism and theft but are appreciative of police investigating.

“We are thankful for the police actions so far, and we expect our property back,” said James “Jumah” Moore, executive director of the mosque built by the S.C. Islamic Center that opened in 2013.

Detectives are investigating the incident as a burglary, but it does not appear to be a hate crime targeting Islam or area Muslims, police said.

The Herald first reported the vandalism Friday when police were still on the scene checking the damage during Muslim prayer services.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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