Two men who allegedly took over $1 million in jewelry from Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead in an armed robbery during a livestreamed sermon have been arrested.
As announced by Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, 23-year-old Juwan Anderson and 23-year-old Say-Quan Pollack have been charged in connection with the armed robbery. The two individuals and an unnamed co-conspirator, who was masked and wore all black, allegedly held up Whitehead’s church back in July.
If convicted, the three could face life in prison. The third individual is still at large, prosecutors said. The two that were arrested had previous run ins with the law, per NYPD chief of detectives James Essig. Anderson was previously arrested in July 2020 for domestic-violence assault, while Pollack was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 for two counts of robbery.
"As alleged, the defendants brought guns into a place of worship, stealing from two members of the clergy, and terrifying the congregation in the process,” said United States Attorney Peace. “I commend the Special Agents and Detectives for their outstanding efforts in identifying the perpetrators who committed a crime that shocks the conscience for its brazenness. This Office will always work with our law enforcement partners to protect our houses of worship, prosecute those who engage in gun violence and and ensure the safety of all members of our community.”
During an Instagram Live stream on Wednesday, Whitehead expressed his gratitude that the culprits had been apprehended. “They caught the robbers, the three men that robbed my church,” he said, per The New York Times. “I was just awakened just about an hour ago. ... I am so excited today. They got 'em, they got 'em, they got 'em, they got 'em, they got 'em."
Whitehead, who has faced criticism for his flashy appearance and excessive amounts of jewelry, also addressed speculation that he was in on the crime.
“Everybody that stated that I had something to do with it, all I ask is that you apologize,” he said. “Just say ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry, bishop, and may the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry.’”
Earlier this month, Whitehead claimed he was wrongfully arrested after he forcibly grabbed a woman during a livestreamed sermon. He was released shortly after, but video of the moment shows him grab a woman by the back of her neck after she appeared to approach him.