Sign stolen from Memphis Islamic Center - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sign stolen from Memphis Islamic Center

Shelby County investigators are teaming up with the FBI to investigate a theft that could result in hate crime charges. Shelby County investigators are teaming up with the FBI to investigate a theft that could result in hate crime charges.

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County investigators are teaming up with the FBI to investigate a theft that could result in hate crime charges.

"I hope it's not malicious," said Steve Stone, pastor of Heartsong Church. "I can't imagine that it would be. It was just thoughtless."

The sign, which directed drivers to the Memphis Islamic Center, was stolen from Humphrey Road and Houston Levee in Cordova.

Stone allowed the center to put the sign up on his church's property to help worshippers find their way during Ramadan.

"That's a real curvy road," said Stone. "So we said 'Sure, you can put a sign up on that corner.'"

According to witnesses, the Memphis Islamic Center was wrapping-up its worship services around 11:30 Saturday night when two white pick-up trucks rolled into its parking lot.

Men inside the vehicles made a racial comment and drove away, witnesses said.

The next morning, the mosque's sign was gone.

"It was just some silly kind of yelling," said Stone. "I don't think they could tell. They didn't get a license number on the truck or anything like that."

Stone, who has had a close relationship with his Islamic neighbors at the mosque, said the crime is senseless.

"We find that people at the Memphis Islamic Center to be kind, generous and loving," Stone said.

No one at the Memphis Islamic Center was available for comment on the matter.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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