Peterborough mosque chairman’s heartbreak after charity money stolen in burglary

Exterior of Faizan-e-Madina Mosque following break-in EMN-170611-192131009
Exterior of Faizan-e-Madina Mosque following break-in EMN-170611-192131009

The chairman of a Peterborough mosque which was broken into and had hundreds of pounds of charity funds stolen has said his heart is broken after the raid.

A burglar used a crowbar to break into the Fazine Madina Mosque in Gladstone Street on Saturday, stealing £500 of charity collections and causing thousands of pounds to the building.

Today Abdul Choudhuri, chairman of the mosque, said: “We feel sick. You don’t expect people to break into a religious building, whether its a mosque or a church.

“People donated money to help a good cause and its gone.

“I think he must be a sick man to have done this.

“It breaks your heart.”

The burglary between 4.20am and 4.50am on Saturday, November 4.

Mr Choudhuri said: “The CCTV we have showed he tried to get in through one door, but could not get in. He managed to get in through another door using a crowbar.

“On the wall there are a number of charity boxes - he used the crowbar to try and get them all off, but he only managed to get one.

“The damage he has caused to the door and the walls is considerable. The door and the special marble tiles cannot be repaired and will have to be replaced. We are still getting estimates, but it is going to cost thousands of pounds.

“We think the box taken had about £500 in it. The money was for social welfare - for example, if someone needed to pay for a funeral but could not afford it, the money would be used to help out.

“We raise money for people affected by war all over the world, and for causes in Peterborough and across the country.

“Morning prayers started about an hour after he came, so we think he much have known that, and planned it accordingly.”

The offender is described as white, around 6ft tall of medium build, was wearing a navy blue hooded top, jeans, Adidas trainers and black leather clothes and was carrying a white plastic bag.

Detective Constable Graham Holmes, from Cambridgeshire police, said: “As well as stealing from charity the offender has also caused damage to the building. This is made all more disturbing as he appears to have deliberately targeted a place of worship.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 101 or report online via www.cambs.police.uk/report quoting CF0637031117.