A New York priest driving a flashy Rolls Royce wearing a Gucci suit says his flashy lifestyle was not to blame for a robbery at gunpoint that happened during one of its live-streamed services.
Dramatic footage broadcast on Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead’s live social media platforms captured the moment three masked and hooded gunmen burst into his service and stole the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry he wore – in front of his stunned congregation and several hundred more watching at home.
Bishop Miller-Whitehead, who is often seen driving around the Big Apple in his Rolls Royce, was delivering a sermon at his Leaders of Tomorrow International ministries on Sunday when police said three robbers entered.
As he urged his followers to keep the faith in the face of adversity, the men shouted to the room: “Nobody move!”
Bishop Miller-Whitehead threw himself to the ground as the thieves – who brandished at least one firearm – stole the chains, crosses and bracelets he was wearing, as well as those that adorned his wife.
It is not known how many people were in the church at the time of the robbery.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has pledged to hunt down the thieves. “No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our religious leaders and our congregants who worship in a House of God,” he told the New York Daily News.
During a Facebook live on Monday, Bishop Miller-Whitehead offered a cash reward of $50,000 to anyone with information that could help the police investigation.
“You can’t do this to my family and get away with it,” he said.
The Bishop of Brooklyn is known for flaunting his designer suits, diamond-encrusted chains and number of fancy cars, but said in an Instagram post that it wasn’t his fault he was victimized. ‘a crime.
“It’s not about being flashy. It’s about buying what I want to buy. It’s my prerogative to buy what I want to buy.”
A few comments on his social media had suggested that his “bling-out” look had made him a target.
“Sometimes when you are a known bishop it is a gift and a curse,” he said. “You’re becoming the talk of the town.”
“There are some things I just won’t tolerate
“I’m human – and no one will joke that my church was nearly shot.”
Police said they were interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage.