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Community fights back against crime

HOUSTON – Homeowners, business people and residents in the Rosewood neighborhood are calling for an end to crime in their area.

Early Friday morning, three young men stole a van from the White Rock Missionary Baptist Church. Officials said they drove it to the John Handy convenience store and used the van to smash into the store so they could rob it.

Surveillance video shows the trio breaking into the power box in the back of the store and knocking out all electricity to the building.

A few days earlier, two women who are members of the White Rock Missionary Baptist church were held at gunpoint and robbed on the street.

On Sunday afternoon, community activist Quanel X joined church leaders in calling for an end to these heinous crimes.

“Hands off the church. Hands off the church,” Quanel said.

“We have to say to our brothers in the streets, 'Enough is enough. Leave the church alone … That is sacred ground.' And we want everyone, if you see somebody robbing the church, lay some holy hands on them and show them you mean business. We don’t tolerate robbing from the church,” Quanel said.

The owner of the convenience store, Mushtaq Shaikh, said his cash register was robbed of about $50 and several cartons of cigarettes were stolen. He said the toughest thing for him to handle is the $10,000 in damage the thieves did to his store.

“I have been here 20 years now. This is out of control. If anyone knows who did this to my store, please turn them in to the Houston police,” Shaikh said.