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A Saint John Police Force vehicle sits in front of police headquarters at One Peel Plaza. Image: Brad Perry

Arrest made following mosque break-in: police

By Brad Perry May 1, 2024 | 1:19 PM

Saint John police say they have made an arrest following an alleged break-in at a city mosque.

Officers were called to the JRJ Saint John Mosque located on Fairville Boulevard on April 18.

“An unknown man was observed inside the location at 5:30 a.m. and was seen leaving on foot,” police said in a news release on Wednesday.

A 49-year-old man was taken into custody without incident on Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

News of the arrest comes as Saint John’s Muslim community raises concerns about a series of break-ins at local mosques.

RELATED: Muslim community worried after recent break-ins

President Buland Akhtar said during the break-in at the JRJ Saint John Mosque, the front door and a washroom were damaged.

Akhtar said the suspect fled the scene empty-handed when a worshiper, Brother Sakib, arrived for sunrise prayer.

“This is a religious concern, so my main concern is what if that person had any arms in his hands or he did some harm to Brother Sakib,” Akhtar said in a phone interview earlier this week.

Akhtar said the mosque Abu Huraira Mosque on Somerset Street has also been the site of several break-ins in recent months.

A number of items were taken during those incidents, he said, including a sound system and carpet.

“It seems that swift action is not being taken on these incidents, so it’s increasing day by day,” he said of break-ins around the city.

Members of the Muslim community are calling on authorities and community leaders to take strong action to address the issue.