We've all seen the news footage of the vandalism of a mosque in Moorhead, Minnesota. My first thought when I saw the surveillance picture of the suspect was that they are never going to catch this guy. Like most surveillance videos, it wasn't even close to a clear picture of the suspect.

Clay County Jail
Clay County Jail

Well, I was wrong, police made and arrest on Tuesday and it's all because of a loss prevention officer at a local Walmart. A twenty-two year old Moorhead man was taken into custody for the mosque vandalism.

Moorhead Police Captain Deric Swenson received a tip from a loss prevention officer for Walmart that led to the arrest. Capt. Swenson said that the Walmart employee noticed on the news that red spray paint was used to vandalize the mosque.

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The loss prevention officer began to comb through store purchase records.  The officer found a guy on Walmart video surveillance buying red spray paint at a Walmart store in Fargo. The kicker was that the guy in the video was wearing the same jacket as in the surveillance video from the mosque.

Using purchase records they were able to locate the suspect. When police talked to him, he confessed to the vandalism. Walmart spokesperson, Beth Bruce said the company was aware of the employee's actions, “Anytime we are able to help law enforcement, we are glad to do that,” she said.

Benjamin Enderle was booked into Clay County Jail in Moorhead on possible charges of felony harassment and felony criminal damage to property, both with hate crime enhancers.

“We welcome the arrest in this troubling case, thank the investigators involved, and hope the swift apprehension of the alleged perpetrator sends a strong message to others who would contemplate engaging in bias-motivated crimes,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN.

Members of the Fargo-Moorhead community turned out on Wednesday with with brushes and power washers to assist in the cleanup of the mosque.



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