Islamic Center of Little Rock Robbed
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — They were just waiting around for an evening prayer when armed robbers hit a Little Rock mosque over the weekend. And one of the victims spoke out Monday.
Both victims, a 19-year-old college student and a 51-year-old man, escaped unharmed. But there’s still a sense of lingering disbelief that such a crime could happen on sacred ground.
On Monday afternoon, we catch a few worshippers wrapping up a stop for prayer at the Little Rock Islamic Center. But Mark Ford sticks around, detailing an earlier night of worship that no one expected.
“A guy comes through the door and asks if this is a church,” Ford said. “I said no, it’s a mosque.”
Ford says that guy started to leave when his wait for the final Sunday prayer turned into a crime.
“He gets to the door, the second guy comes through, already has a gun out and pointed and saying the usual thing, go to the ground, give us your cash,” Ford said.
Ford said the initial suspect also pulled a gun.
“It was closer than I am to you, right in my nose,” Ford said to THV’s Max Seigle.
He and another man followed the orders, although the second victim just had a cell phone to give up. Ford says all of it was snatched up and the suspects took off in about 20 to 30 seconds.
Looking back, Ford doesn’t feel this attack targeted the Islamic Community.
“The timing makes sense, it’s a Sunday evening, churches are usually at capacity on Sunday evenings, they probably would have had a bigger turn out if they went to a church,” Ford said.
But Ford does feel any crime like this is unacceptable.
“It was a very low thing to do, even if they were looking for a church,” Ford said. ”Targeting worship centers is just not only against the law but just against sacred convention,” Ford said.
Ford did tell Today’s THV that the mosque had another parking lot robbery back in late July.
Little Rock Police don’t have any firm leads for suspects right now. But police reports say surveillance video from the mosque did show the two suspects fleeing on foot last night. Police searched the areas they were headed for but turned up nothing.
Statement from the Little Rock Police Department
The Little Rock Police Department is searching for two suspects wanted for robbing a local religious establishment at gunpoint.
Police responded to the Islamic Center of Little Rock on Anna Avenue after they got a call about a robbery. Police talked to two victims who described what happened.
One victims says one of the suspects came inside the center and asked if it was a church. While they were talking, another suspect came in the side door with a glock (unknown caliber) handgun with an extended magazine in his hand. Then the first suspect pulled out a silver handgun and forced the two victims to hand over all of their belongings.
The two suspects then fled on foot.
Police searched the area for evidence of the robbery or the suspects to no avail.
Police are getting surveillance video from the Center for further investigation. The victims asked for extra patrol in the area due to similar incidents occurring in the area.
(Source: Little Rock Police Dept.)
Original post: Islamic Center of Little Rock Robbed