Brooklyn bishop robbed during sermon
NEW YORK - A Brooklyn preacher and his wife were robbed during his church service on Sunday.
The NYPD says it happened around 11:15 a.m. Sunday inside the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry on Remsen Ave. in Canarsie.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead was live-streaming his sermon when three masked gunmen entered the church. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees before the robbers went through and grabbed the jewelry.
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The New York City Police Department says they stole $400,000 worth of jewelry from the pastor and his wife. They then took off from the scene in a white Mercedes-Benz down Ave. D. The NYPD says the car had NY tags KMX5464.
While the cops initially pegged the cost of the jewelry at $400,000, sources now say the value was actually more than $1 million.
Police haven't made any arrests in the case.
In an Instagram video, Whitehead said he felt a "demonic force" enter the church and wasn't sure if the gunmen "wanted to shoot the church up or if they were just coming for a robbery."
"When I see them come into the sanctuary with their guns, I told everybody to get out, everybody just get out," Whitehead said.
He said he was glad no one was hurt but added that one gunman pointed a gun in his 8-month-old daughter's face.
Whitehead once served five years in prison for identity theft and grand larceny. In his current life, he is known for his opulent flashiness. He also claims to be a mentee of Mayor Eric Adams.
He has been in the news before. He once made an unsuccessful run for Brooklyn borough president.
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More recently Whitehead said he was trying to negotiate the surrender of the suspect in a killing of a man on a Q train.
Whitehead showed up at an NYPD police precinct in a Rolls-Royce but police had already arrested the suspect.
After Sunday's robbery, Whitehead responded to critics who say he's too flashy.
"It's my prerogative to purchase what I want to purchase. If I work hard for it, I can purchase what I want to purchase," Whitehead said in an Instagram video.