In St. Paul, Minnesota, a man who burglarized a mosque has been sentenced to probation. The incident occurred in October 2021, when 33-year-old James Johnson broke into the Islamic Center of Minnesota and stole several items, including a laptop, cash, and a camera.
According to the police report, Johnson was caught on surveillance cameras entering the mosque and leaving with the stolen items. He was later arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, a felony offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
During his court hearing, Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges against him and expressed remorse for his actions. He also explained that he was struggling with addiction at the time of the burglary and that he had since sought treatment.
Despite the seriousness of the crime, the judge ultimately decided to sentence Johnson to five years of probation and ordered him to pay restitution to the mosque for the stolen items. The judge noted that Johnson’s remorse, cooperation with law enforcement, and efforts to seek treatment were all factors in the decision.
Members of the mosque expressed disappointment with the sentence, saying that they had hoped for a more severe punishment. However, they also expressed forgiveness and a willingness to move on from the incident.
The burglary has raised concerns about security at the mosque, and community leaders have called for increased vigilance and protection for all places of worship in the area.