St. Paul man sentenced to probation for mosque burglary

A St. Paul man has been given five years of probation for his role in a mosque burglary last year in the city’s Frogtown neighborhood.

Christopher Edward Hughes, 35, and accomplice Jeremy Allen Glass, 33, made off with a safe that contained $4,000 from Masjid Al-Ihsan Islamic Center at Minnehaha Avenue and Chatsworth Street on Feb. 27, criminal complaints say.

In November, Hughes pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary of a religious institution and to a second charge of receiving stolen property relating to a separate case filed against him about three weeks before the burglary.

Ramsey County District Judge Nicole Starr on Friday followed a plea agreement and gave Hughes a stayed prison sentence of five years, during which time he will be on probation. Two other charges related to the mosque burglary were dismissed — aiding and abetting auto theft and attempted theft.

In the days that followed the burglary, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota chapter spoke out against the crime and asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, who were caught on video surveillance. Police said they received tips from people who identified the suspects as Glass and Hughes.

According to the criminal complaints:

Security footage showed that someone pulled up to the building in a black Chevy Silverado — which had been stolen Feb. 25 — shortly after midnight and two men walked up to the front door. One of the men, later identified as Glass, used a key to unlock the door and was followed by a man identified as Hughes. The two men loaded the safe into the rear passenger side of the Silverado.

The pair also stole a credit card machine from the mosque and tried to transfer nearly $14,000 from the mosque’s bank account.

Video showed they returned to the mosque about 3 a.m. and Hughes used a stolen key fob to steal a van in the parking lot.

Once arrested, Hughes told police that Glass had picked him up in the Silverado and asked him to help with a maintenance job at the mosque. When an investigator asked where they got the key to get inside, Hughes said Glass went through cars at the mosque the day before and found it. Glass declined to talk with investigators.

In October, Glass, of St. Paul, also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary of a religious institution. Starr sentenced him to a 27-month prison term, which is running concurrently with an 18-month term he received in March after pleading guilty to drug possession in Sherburne County.

Hughes has past felony convictions for drug possession in 2007 and auto theft in 2008.

Related Articles