Thieves caught on video stealing cameras at Northwest Islamic Center

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) –Thieves were caught on camera stealing security cameras from a place of worship.

It happened at the Northwest Islamic Center just outside Overland, during the holy month of Ramadan.  But it’s clear the sacred holiday did not deter these criminals.

According to St. Louis County Police, 33 year-old Jessie Lacey, along with another man and woman, approached the Northwest Islamic Center overnight, and stole three security cameras off the side of the building.

Islamic Center board member Sohail Alvi discovered the thefts when he noticed wires dangling outside the building, where the cameras had been mounted.  He explains, “It is a very religious time, and usually people are there until 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock, and I think these guys waited and once we left, then they came out and did it.”

Before they were stolen, the cameras recorded these suspects in the act.  That video is now concealed as evidence.

Police say the video shows three people heading towards the building, setting up a small ladder, and then one man climbing it and twisting the camera to disconnect it.  His face is clearly visible.  Officers recognized him immediately from the surveillance footage and identified him as Jessie Lacey.

Alvi says roughly 15 security cameras were installed around the Islamic Center as a precaution, after a donation box filled with cash was stolen.

Altogether, it will cost about $2,500 to replace the stolen cameras, plus software. Still, these worshippers are just grateful the crime wasn’t worse.  “It’s ok as long as there’s no human injury or anything. It’s just the money I guess.  You can replace things with that. Everybody’s safe,” says Alvi.

Lacey is now charged with felony stealing.  Police say the suspects never entered the building.  It’s uncertain whether the thieves sold these cameras or whether it was an act of vandalism.

Google Map for coordinates 38.696960 by -90.394338.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.