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Mosque on Third Avenue Targeted By Burglar Who Hid in Closet

By Tom Liddy | June 18, 2011 10:25am | Updated on June 19, 2011 10:06am

By Tom Liddy

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN - A sneaky thief has twice ripped off a prominent Upper East Side mosque, at one point hiding in a closet before striking, cops said.

The prowler first struck June 8, strolling into the Islamic Cultural Center of New York at 1711 Third Ave., near 96th Street, along with other worshipers at 3 a.m.

He then hid in a maintenance closet until the building had cleared out from the early morning service before snatching cash from the donation boxes, according to police.

In surveillance video from that incident, he can be seen calmly walking through a corridor.

Then on June 16, he allegedly broke a glass door to the house of worship and stole more money from the donation boxes.

The Islamic Cultural Center of New York.
The Islamic Cultural Center of New York.
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DNAinfo/Tim Gorta

It's not clear how much money he got away with.

A person who answered the phone at the mosque, the first built in the city, according to its website, decline comment.

The suspect is described as 5-foot-10, bald and with a beard.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) and then enter TIP577.