Arrest Made In Attempted Break-In At Worcester Islamic Center

WORCESTER (CBS) — A man who allegedly tried to break into the Worcester Islamic Center and a nearby private Islamic school early Tuesday morning has been arrested.

Officers were called to the Alhuda Academy on East Mountain Street around 4:40 a.m. Tuesday after reports of a man trying to get inside.

When they got there, they found the back door open and ajar, but a search of the building found that nothing had been stolen–and the man was not there.

Hours earlier, a similar-looking man was seen on surveillance cameras kicking and pulling on the doors, before eventually giving up. Police released the video on Wednesday and received numerous tips.

Officers arrested 30-year-old Andrew Burke of Shrewsbury on Wednesday afternoon. He is facing several charges including defacement of property and attempting to commit a crime.

The center’s president, Dr. Muhammad Ramzan, told WBZ-TV it was not the first time the suspect has showed up at the center. A congregant recognized his face from two different encounters last week.

“Last week on Wednesday he may have come here,” Ramzan said. “Somebody spotted him and the way he was walking around it looked a little strange. And then he took two copies of the Quran from the shelf and walked away.”

Burke will be arraigned Thursday morning in Worcester District Court.

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