Two Charged in Defacing Mosque

August 20, 2007

Author: Karoun Demirjian

Source: Chicago Tribune,0,7915051.story

Chicago police have charged two teens in vandalism at a North Side mosque early Monday.

Idris Thomas, 17, of the 6200 block of North Talman Avenue, and a 16-year-old from the south suburbs were charged with burglary and defacing property at the Jame Masjid mosque in the 6300 block of North Maplewood Avenue, police said.

The 16-year-old is not being identified because he's a juvenile.

About 12:45 a.m. Monday, police received a 911 call from a neighbor who had seen two people entering the mosque.

When they arrived, police discovered damage to the mosque's interior and exterior. They also found the two teenagers, who police said were hiding beneath a stairwell inside.

Police said the boys had cut a hole in the fencing that surrounds the mosque and then broken through a plastic barrier and forced a window open to gain entry to the building. Once inside, police said, they spray-painted graffiti on the walls.