Six vehicles were broken into Sunday afternoon at USF Riverfront Park during a picnic hosted by several
student organizations celebrating the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha.
The picnic, organized by the Pakistani Students Association, Muslim Students Association, Sisters United Muslim Association, Project Downtown, Bengali Students Association and Arab Cultural Association, began at 3 p.m., and the burglaries took place between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to a release from Lt. Charlotte Domingo, University Police (UP) public information officer.
Domingo said UP responded around 4:45 p.m. and found windows of the vehicles smashed. The owners and drivers of the vehicles were at the event while the burglary occurred.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly said property was
stolen from the vehicles, including wallets and laptops.
CAIR which serves as Americas largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, is offering a
$1,000 reward to the first person that provides police with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the burglar or burglars. UP did not have suspects at the time of print.
Shibly said he doesnt know if the act was random or targeted.
The event was heavily advertised, Shilby said. It mustve attracted the wrong people. Were concerned that this kind of crime is happening in open daylight and on university property.
Regardless of motivation, Shibly said the organization wanted to bring the incident to the communitys
attention to keep everyone safe.
I hope the police do what they can to catch them, Beck said.
Anyone with information can contact UP at 813-974-2628.