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Two Brooklyn Men Arrested for Armed Robbery During Livestream Church Service

Two Brooklyn men have been charged with armed robbery for their roles in a brazen jewelry theft seen during a livestreamed church service in July.

Main photo: Three men dressed in masks and black clothes held Miller-Whitehead and his wife at gunpoint during a Sunday morning church service, stealing $1 million in jewelry. / Livestream Screenshot

Although the crime scene in the indictment is referred to only as “the Church,” the description of the incident fits the robbery of Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead and his wife of $1 million of jewelry July 24 during a sermon at the Brooklyn church he founded, Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries.

The indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Sept. 28 said Juwan Anderson, 23, and Say-Quan Pollack, also 23, were arrested for their roles in an armed robbery at a church in Brooklyn on July 24, 2022.  A third defendant remains at large, officials said.

“As alleged, the defendants brought guns into a place of worship, stealing from two members of the clergy, and terrifying the congregation in the process,” said United States Attorney Breon Peace in a statement 

In the incident at Leaders of Tomorrow, video captured three robbers dressed in black showing guns and demanding that Miller-Whitehead and his wife, Asia K. DosReis-Whitehead, hand over their jewelry. 

The indictment and court filings allege that Anderson, Pollack and their co-conspirator—masked and dressed in all black—entered “the Church” brandishing firearms while parishioners attended church services in person and via a live-stream.  

The description continues to say the lead pastor (“Individual 1” in the indictment) dove to the floor, while his wife (“Individual 2”) shielded their infant daughter, who was sitting on her lap.  

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Pollack then stood guard at the doorway, pointing a firearm in the direction of the parishioners and the pulpit while his co-conspirator approached “Individual 2” and pulled jewelry from her body, the allegations state. 

Pollack then allegedly approached “Individual 1” as he lay on the floor and made sure all of his jewelry had been removed by Anderson and the co-conspirator. 

Miller-Whitehead, who has been criticized for a flashy lifestyle that includes wearing expensive jewelry and driving a Rolls Royce, formed his church in 2013 after serving a five-year prison sentence for identity theft and grand larceny. On the church’s website, he says he was “illegally convicted.” 

The pastor said in early September he was suing two YouTube personalities for defamation of character after their online commentaries claimed the robbery was staged and called Whitehead a drug dealer and a scammer. 

Whitehead’s lawyer told The New York Post that since such statements affect the bishop’s business and church, he will aggressively hold whoever is making them accountable, and alluded that “many more” similar lawsuits would come.

He is asking for damages of $20 million in each of the two cases.

Whitehead also is facing a lawsuit himself, brought by a former parishioner who alleges he took $90,000 in life savings from her in November 2020 to help her buy a house after she was told she couldn’t get a mortgage because of bad credit. She said he failed to get a mortgage for her, and also did not return her money. 

Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.