BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WPIX) — Gun-toting thieves brazenly barged into a Brooklyn, New York, church Sunday and robbed a bishop and his wife mid-sermon, according to police.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead, 44, was preaching at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry at 11:15 a.m. when three male suspects stormed in and robbed the preacher and his wife, 38, at gunpoint, police said. The victims told police the men made off with over $1 million in jewelry, including rings, watches, and chains.
One of the suspects allegedly pointed a gun in the face of Whitehead’s 8-month-old child, he said in a Facebook post.
“As I was preaching, I see three or four armed men come in … I told everybody to get down,” Whitehead said in the social media post. “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or just coming for a robbery.”
Whitehead dropped to the ground in his burgundy vestments, saying, “Yo, all right, all right, all right,” after the bandits interrupted his lecture, according to a video obtained by the Daily News. One of the thieves seen in the video straddled the preacher, took his jewelry and stuffed it into his pockets.
“It hurts me because my church is hurt,” the preacher said in his Facebook post.
The preacher, known for his close friendship with New York City’s mayor, embraces his flashy lifestyle and can often be seen driving around the Big Apple in his Rolls Royce.
After the incident, Whitehead said he followed the robbers and saw them getting into a white Mercedes-Benz, where they changed their clothes and took off their masks before fleeing the scene.
The preacher pleaded with the public for help in the hour-long Facebook post and offered a $50,000 cash reward for the suspects’ capture.
“I want justice. I want these men arrested,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.