According to Ridvan Ablyalimov, the mosque’s imam, the theft, which took place overnight, was discovered and reported to the police on September 4, 2015.

“The mosque is open 24/7 except for when it is under renovation. We believe it’s a just a regular theft, which is, of course, no excuse for such an act. Stealing public property is a heavy sin and by no means acceptable,” said the imam.

According to Ablyalimov, similar accidents used to take place in mosques in the Kirovsky and Feodosisky districts in 2010 and 2011. Back then, the thieves were found.

“Matters like these used to be handled by members of the local community without making them public. The perpetrators were found, and if they were local residents, the elders held a theft prevention talk with them and had them pay for the damage, if possible,” said Ridvan Ablyalimov.