(TPM) – Brooklyn-based Bishop Lamor Whitehead was robbed during a livestream religious service on Sunday that saw masked thieves make off with $400,000 worth of jewelry.
NBC News reports that armed assailants entered Whitehead’s Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Canarsie, Brooklyn at 11:15 am and “demanded property,” according to police.
Bishop Whitehead is also a convict who served a five-year prison sentence for identity fraud and grand larceny. In May, Whitehead made headlines as he unsuccessfully tried to negotiate the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, the man charged with the shooting death of Goldman Sachs employee Daniel Enriquez. Whitehead claimed that Abdullah, who had 19 prior arrests, was “innocent,” and that his family “has untold paperwork showing that he has mental health issues.”
Police said the robbers Sunday brandished firearms and threatened the 44-year-old bishop and his 38-year-old wife during the service before making off with their possessions.
WABC posted a snippet of the video online that shows Whitehead shouting “yo, yo, alright, alright, alright” and dropping to the floor as the masked men enter the scene. Reports of the full video state one of the robbers later approaches the bishop and held the pistol to his back.
Lamor responded to the incident on his Instagram and said the robbery was “not about me being flashy. It’s about me purchasing what I want to purchase. If I worked hard for it, I can purchase what I want to purchase.”
According to the New York Post, Lamor is a “Rolls Royce-driving” ex-convict whose multiple identity fraud and grand larceny charges were related to a $2 million identity theft scheme from 2006. He was released in 2013 after 5 years served and moved into ministry as well as a friendship with current NYC mayor Eric Adams, who has described Lamor as “my good friend and good brother.” In turn, Whitehead has called Adams a “friend” and “mentor.”
Lamor said in his Instagram, “When I see them come into the sanctuary with their guns, I told everybody to get out, everybody just get out,” and “The women and children that was in my church, my daughter, she’s traumatized right now. She’s not even talking.”
CBS News reports there were no physical injuries and the investigation is ongoing. Police did report that the robbers left and got into a white Mercedes Benz and that they were able to get the license plate.