- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Surveillance camera footage shows a man damaging a sign outside of a Mankato mosque in broad daylight on Sunday.

The footage shows the man trying to remove part of the sign bearing the Islamic Center’s name, and then placing a “for lease” banner on the sign, The Free Press of Mankato (https://bit.ly/2cfrBvH ) reported. Children were inside attending classes at the time, said Abdi Sabrie, a founding board member of the center.

The man spent nearly four minutes defacing the sign as vehicles and bicyclists pass by, the video shows. Sabrie hopes one of those people can help police identify the suspect.

And if the perpetrator is identified, Sabrie said he would welcome him to the center.

“We’re really not vindictive,” Sabrie said. “We want him to come get to know us and understand us.”

It’s the second time the sign has been vandalized since the downtown center opened in 2014. In January 2015, someone pulled off part of the sign overnight and left it in the street, Sabrie said.

In three other unsolved crimes, the center’s front door was smashed by a rock and thieves stole cash from collection boxes and computers.

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Information from: The Free Press, https://www.mankatofreepress.com

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