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Raiders steal Nelson mosque safes
A MOSQUE in Nelson was burgled by thieves who sneaked in during prayers and hid until the building was empty, and stole two safes containing hundreds of pounds.
After finding the metal safes, which were bolted to the wall of the Islamic Mission Madina Mosque, in Forest Street, the raiders carried them up a flight of stairs and out through a fire exit door, and out to the back yard. Nisar Ahmed, vice-president of the mosque, said it had been very distressing for people who attend the place of worship.
He said: “Luckily there wasn’t very much money because we’ve already had our Eid collection.
“The people that did it must have been culturally aware of what goes on in the mosque, the timings, and the layout. It’s very upsetting.”
County Coun Azhar Ali, who represents Nelson, said: “It’s tragic that burglars are now targeting places of worship. I hope other churches and mosques are vigilant about being targeted like this in the future.”
PC Matthew Walton, of Nelson Police, said: “The mosque was secured, so we strongly believe the offenders have been inside during the day and rem-ained until everyone had left.
“The safes would have been very heavy and we suspect a vehicle will have been used to transport them, so I’d be keen to speak to anyone who has seen a vehicle at the rear of the mosque on Tuesday night.
“This is a serious offence and I urge anybody with any information about anybody they suspect could be involved to contact police in confidence.
“I would appeal to anybody that attended prayers on Tuesday and saw anybody acting suspiciously to come forward.”
The burglary took place at around 7.45pm.
People should call police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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