Caught on Video: 3 Gunmen Burst in During Sermon, Rob NYC Bishop and His Wife in $400K Jewelry Heist


A Brooklyn bishop and his wife, both wearing excessive bling, were robbed at gunpoint during a live-streamed church service Sunday morning. Three armed assailants reportedly stole over $400,000 worth of jewelry, New York City police said.

Bishop Lamor Whitehead was interrupted in the middle of his sermon when three gunmen burst into the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries denominational church in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

The livestream video captured the incident around 11:14 a.m., the New York Post reported.

After spotting the masked intruders, Whitehead dropped to his hands and knees while the three took jewelry from those in attendance. The bishop, his wife and possibly churchgoers were robbed of their belongings, police said.

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Whitehead posted a video to Instagram, saying the gunmen stole his watch, bishop’s ring, wedding band, bishop’s cross and other jewelry from his body.

“They took all of my wife’s jewelry and took all of my jewelry,” he said.

Whitehead “told everybody to get down” when the gunmen entered the church.

“I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or if they were just coming for a robbery,” he said.

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The gunmen fled on foot before escaping in a white Mercedes-Benz, NBC News reported. Police said the still-at-large suspects were last seen traveling east on Avenue D.

In his Instagram video, Whitehead said he tried chasing the masked bandits after the crime, hoping they would turn themselves in, but failed in catching them.

“The women and children that was in my church, my daughter, she’s traumatized right now. She’s still not even talking,” he said.

Receiving criticism from bloggers and news outlets saying he was too “flashy” for a bishop, Whitehead said he could wear and buy whatever he wanted.

“It’s not about me being flashy. It’s about me purchasing what I want to purchase,” he said.

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“If I worked hard for it, I can purchase what I want to purchase.”

The last time Whitehead made the news was in May when he tried negotiating the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, who was charged with killing a Goldman Sachs employee Daniel Enriquez aboard an NYC train, the Post originally reported.

Police arrested Abdullah without Whitehead’s help, however.

The churchgoers in attendance Sunday morning suffered no injuries, according to police. The investigation is currently ongoing.

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David Zimmermann is a contract writer for The Western Journal who also writes for the Washington Examiner and Upward News. Originally from New Jersey, David studied communications at Grove City College. Follow him on Twitter @dezward01.