MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Mobile Police arrested a man Saturday morning who is accused of taking donations from a local mosque.
37-year-old Desmon White was charged with second degree theft of property. White was out of jail on bond Saturday afternoon.
Authorities said White was busted in a sting operation early Saturday morning at the Islamic-American Center of Mobile. Investigators were able to watch the crime unfold live on a surveillance camera planted inside the mosque.
Alabama State Constables said they have been watching White for three weeks. Constable Eugene Aucoin said he and Constable Rico Washington were called on by mosque leaders to investigate after money was dwindling from a safe in the building; the safe has a slit hole in the top to take donations for the poor and to pay the power bill at the mosque.
"Over a couple of month period it's quite a bit," Aucoin said.
The constables said they watched from computers and smart phones the live streaming video of White taking money from the safe.
"We don't have to sit right in front of a building to see this, and, the most important part is, when he goes to court, you have video documentation of the person doing this crime over and over again," Washington said.
Investigators said video from last Saturday shows White spending 45 minutes inside the church carefully pulling money out of the poor box. They said White took precautions by shutting off the lights and disabling a security camera in the room, not noticing the hidden camera above him.
"The more he came the comfortable he got," Aucoin said. Nobody was doing anything about it so, I guess, greed took over."
The constables hope after this arrest more people will take notice of the valuable service they provide.
"We're not really on a time frame so we can be there more than what we need to be," Aucoin said. "We're out here on the streets every day doing what we were elected to do."
Mosque leaders did not want to talk Local 15 News on camera for fear of retaliation, but they said they have increased security there. Though investigators are still looking into White's background, White told authorities he works as a security guard at Brookley Aeroplex.