CANARSIE, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Police are still on the hunt for the armed robbers who allegedly stole $1 million in jewelry from a bishop and his wife during a church service in Brooklyn, officials said.
The NYPD released new video on Wednesday of the masked suspects – dressed head to toe in black – as they entered the Tomorrow Leaders International Ministry during Sunday service at around 11:15 a.m.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead, 44, said he and his wife, 38, were held up at gunpoint as their congregation watched terrified. The theft was captured and broadcast on a live stream, which the church has since taken down.
Whitehead, who is known for his flashy lifestyle, told PIX11 on Wednesday that he also gives back to his community and believes the theft was targeted.
“I know a lot of people are going to be like, ‘oh why are you so flashy,'” Whitehead said in a previous Facebook post after the robbery. “I was troubled by a phone call that there was speculation that there were guns in my church…and I don’t know if it’s related.”
The preacher told detectives he and his wife were robbed of $1 million worth of jewelry they were wearing. He also claimed in a Facebook post after the robbery that one of the suspects pointed a gun at his 8-month-old baby.
“When I saw them coming into the sanctuary with their guns, I said to everyone, ‘Get down,'” Whitehead said.
Police were told 25 people were inside Canarsie Church at the time, but no one was injured.
“It hurts me because my church is hurting,” Whitehead said in a Facebook post. “The women and children who were in my church – my daughter is traumatized, right now…they had a gun to my 8 month old’s face.”
The suspects fled with expensive rings, watches and necklaces and drove off in a white Mercedes, detectives say. However, Whitehead said it was not about the money, but about the safety of his family and followers. He offered a cash reward of $50,000 for the arrest of the suspects.