3 men rummage through south Seattle mosque before burglarizing nearby home

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is investigating a home burglary that happened on Sunday in the 5900 block of 39th Avenue South. Three suspects were seen on camera prowling around the home before forcing their way inside and stealing personal items.

Prior to the burglary, the same individuals were seen two doors down burglarizing a community mosque.

"It does put us in a vulnerable state," said Cham Refugee Center president, Sarafine Appadolo. "It's disheartening as well because we are just trying to practice our faith and keep to ourselves for the most part."

Appadolo told FOX 13 he learned about the men rummaging through the mosque after reviewing security footage.

"We actually own the property two doors down," he said. "Our tenants alerted us that their property was broken into, and some items were stolen. They wanted us to check our footage as well."

Sure enough, when the footage was reviewed, the same three men were seen on multiple cameras trespassing in the building.

Credit: Cham Refugee Center

Appadolo said the men entered the community and religious center between prayer sessions.

"They were not here for prayer," he said. "Normally individuals take off their shoes. They walked right in with their shoes on. They were acting suspicious too. They were also seen looking through our donation boxes. You can tell they were kind of scoping out the room."

Appadolo said before the men could take anything of value, they were suddenly scared off.

"Because it’s an Islamic Center we have prayer five times a day," he said. "They noticed people coming and kind of bailed out."

Both the burglary at the home and the mosque has the community concerned. People told FOX 13 the men's actions showed no religious respect or respect for someone else's property.

In an effort to fight back, Cham Refugee Center is circulating images of the three suspects across social media.

"It’s already being picked up by some news agencies," Appadolo said. "We just think it’s a good idea to spread the word. Plus, like I said, people are just on high alert."

Seattle Police are looking into the possibility the three men could be connected to another burglary at a house of worship.

If you have any information or recognize the suspects, call the Seattle Police Department Tip Line at 206-233-5000.