TWO mosques were targeted in overnight break-ins.

Thieves broke into Masjid Al Momineen on Ash Street in Blackburn and Madina Mosque on Oak Street overnight on Monday into Tuesday.

Mahmood Dalvi, president of Masjid Al Momineen, said thieves took around £3,000 of cash from a safe and caused about £10,000 of damage.

He said: “The break-in happened between around 10pm on Monday and 5am on Tuesday.

“I believe the thieves have used a crowbar to get the padlock off the steel gates and broke in through the front door.

“They’ve then come into the side door from the hall and broke that door which was locked.

“They’ve then gone into the office and damaged the door and trashed the office, managing to get into a locked safe and stealing £3,000 and one laptop.”

Mr Dalvi then said thieves went upstairs and smashed through the door of the CCTV room, before smashing through a secure box into the room where they took all the CCTV.

He said: “We found all the doors open when they should be locked, so there was definitely an element of planning to this and we believe more than one person did this.”

Mr Dalvi said the damage to the mosque comes after a new committee took over the mosque last year.

It has seen them raise £50,000 from donations for a revamp of the mosque which was finished two weeks ago.

He added: “It’s devastating as a lot of work has gone into the revamp.

 “We’ll have to spend a lot of money on repairs to the building and on replacing the CCTV system and on having extra security such as fencing around the building.”

Thieves also broke into Madina Mosque on Oak Street, causing damage to doors, a safe and donation box.

Mushtaq Hussain, trustee at the mosque, said: “We believe thieves have come in through the fire door in the mosque prayer area using a crowbar.

“They’ve then kicked a donation box and kicked through the main office door, where they’ve smashed a safe and tried to turn a CCTV camera the other way.”

He added: “They’ve not taken any money but they’ve caused around £3,000 of damage. “We’re just shocked at what’s happened.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called at on Tuesday to reports of a burglary at Masjid Al Momineen Mosque on Ash Street, Blackburn. We have been made aware of a burglary at Madina Mosque on Oak Street. Call 101 with information.”

Masjid Al Momineen are appealing for donations to fund the cost of repairs to the mosque. 

To donate money, contact 07988 550727 or visit their Just Giving page: