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CAIR-MN offers reward for suspect who burglarized, damaged south Minneapolis mosque

A man broke into the Tawfiq Islamic Center Sunday night. He stole money and caused $50,000 worth of damages, according to CAIR-MN officials.

The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) held a news conference Tuesday afternoon -- saying elected officials need to take notice of an attack on a south Minneapolis mosque Sunday evening.

Officials offered a $1,000 reward for information about the suspect who damaged and stole money from the Tawfiq Islamic Center in the Minneapolis Seward neighborhood. According to officials, a man entered the mosque through the back gym door around 11:20 p.m. Sunday and broke into several rooms throughout the center. CAIR-MN estimates over $50,000 will be needed to repair the damages at the mosque.

Minneapolis police and CAIR-MN sent out news releases with video and photos of the suspect. He was described as a white male in his late-20s to early-30s.

A local community leader said it was too early to say what the motive was in the break-in. But other officials at the news conference called it a hate crime.

Minneapolis police sent out their news release. 

"Preliminary information indicates that theft was the motivation for this burglary. However, due to the location of the burglary, MPD investigators will evaluate available evidence for indications that this burglary and property damage was motivated by hate or bias," Minneapolis Police spokesperson Garrett Parten stated in the release.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).  

Police say the public can leave tips at www.CrimeStoppersMN.org. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to cover the cost of the damage.

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