Wales

Cardiff burglars ransack Rabbaniah Islamic Cultural Centre

Khalid Farid says the damage is 'massive' Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Khalid Farid said intruders ripped through a roof to reach the centre's office and cash safe

An Islamic centre is counting the cost of a break-in, which saw £3,500 stolen and the building ransacked.

Even the ceiling was torn down by a burglar at the Rabbaniah Islamic Cultural Centre in Grangetown.

Computers were smashed and CCTV cameras ripped from the walls.

South Wales Police said it wants information about the break-in, sometime between Sunday night and Monday lunchtime.

Both the force and the centre said there was no indication it was a hate crime.

Khalid Farid, secretary of the centre in Clare Road, said: "This break-in will be devastating to the local community. It's terrible, people can't believe it.

"The damage is massive. At the end of the day we can't run this organisation until the roof is sorted, because we're a charitable organisation we don't have the money or ability to fix the roof yet. "

"Because we're a charity-based organisation, we don't make anything, everything this organisation does is because of the money people give us."

The money, collected for charity, was in a small safe in a cupboard.

The intruders first broke into the centre's main hall and tore down a ceiling to get up to the office on the first floor.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The burglars left a trail of damage after the break-in, sometime from Sunday night
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Imam Hussain Ahmad surveys the damage inside the centre
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The safe was broken into and between £3,000 and £3,500 was taken
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Cameras were targeted but there is hope some material is available on hard drives
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Office equipment damaged in the raid
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The centre is in a former Victorian chapel on a main road

The centre was set up three years ago and holds children's classes, as well as promoting the benefits of Islam, education, preventing poverty and promoting religious harmony.

Around 200 children and adults use the building.

Although the intruders stole the security cameras they left their hard drives behind and one figure is spotted in the dark in CCTV footage seen by the centre.

Mr Farid, who is waiting for an insurance assessment on the damage to the building and equipment, said: "The last camera appears to have been taken from inside the property at 7am, so we are asking anyone who was near the centre at that time to come forward."

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: "We are investigating a burglary which occurred at the Islamic Centre some time between 9.30pm on Sunday September 14, and 1.30pm on Monday."

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