Robbers who stole over $1 million worth of jewelry from a Brooklyn pastor and his wife at gunpoint Sunday were caught on camera via the church’s livestream. Bishop Lamor Whitehead is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
“Today, you know, we were in church during morning service,” said Whitehead in an Instagram video posted the day of the robbery, “and as I was preaching, I seen three to four armed men come in, and I just told my church…get down. Everybody just get down.”
Bishop Lamor Whitehead: ‘Everybody’s Traumatized’
Bishop Lamor Whitehead is the pastor of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. He was preaching Sunday, June 24, when three men dressed in black interrupted his sermon.
A widely shared video of the incident shows Whitehead preaching behind a pulpit before stopping abruptly, saying, “Yo. Yo. All right, all right, all right,” and lying on the ground on his stomach. A man can be heard saying, “Everybody stay still. Nobody move.” During one part of the video, one of the suspects appears on camera, holding a gun and bending over Whitehead, presumably stealing his jewelry. Both men are partially off-screen. A second suspect later stoops over the pastor.
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After the second suspect runs off, Whitehead stands up and leaves the stage with his collar hanging off of his neck. Congregants can then be seen passing back and forth in front of the camera.
Whitehead said that when he first saw the men, “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or if they was just coming for a robbery.” The pastor shared that he ran after the perpetrators, who were driving a white Mercedes-Benz and who changed clothes in their car. He told Instagram viewers he is thankful the incident did not result in greater tragedy, such as loss of life.
“Everybody’s traumatized,” Whitehead said of his congregation, adding that the thieves held a gun up to his 8-month-old and that the women and the children of his church are “still crying.”
“It hurts me because my church is hurt,” said the pastor, who also expressed his confidence that God will bring about justice for what happened. “God will avenge.”
Whitehead believes he was targeted for publicity he received in May for helping to turn in Andrew Abdullah, a suspect wanted in the fatal subway shooting of Daniel Enriquez. “All they talked about in the media was my car,” said the pastor. “The bling, bling, bling bishop. The bishop with the Rolls Royce.”