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Charges against two longtime friends accuse the duo of stealing a cash-filled safe from a St. Paul mosque, with one suspect pitching the idea to the other as a "maintenance job."

Jeremy A. Glass, 32, and Christopher E. Hughes, 34, were both charged Monday in connection with the Feb. 27 burglary at Masjid Al-Ihsan Islamic Center on 955 Minnehaha Ave. W, according to court documents. The mosque, through CAIR-MN, had released surveillance photos of the suspects, saying they'd entered the mosque through the front door between midnight and 1 a.m., then made off with a safe that contained $4,000 cash and a checkbook.

The charges against Glass and Hughes, both from St. Paul, say the two are friends who grew up together. Hughes was arrested March 3, and according to the complaints told investigators Glass had asked him to help with a "maintenance job" at the mosque — which Hughes thought was "fishy" but went along with anyway.

Security camera footage shows Glass bringing the safe toward the mosque's entrance, tripping twice while doing so and prompting Hughes to step in and lend a hand with the carrying, the charges state. 

A surveillance still published by the mosque.

A surveillance still published by the mosque.

Hughes told police he "f***** up" and shouldn't have helped move the safe, but said Glass was yelling and threatening him, according to the complaints.

Hughes made his first court appearance Monday and is out on conditional release. An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. A warrant is out for Glass' arrest. He'd been in the Anoka County Jail at the beginning of March in connection with a Walmart laptop theft, but was released March 6. 

Here's what the criminal complaint alleges happened:

Security cameras captured much of the burglary, and show Glass and Hughes pull up to the mosque between midnight and 1 a.m. on Feb. 27 in a dark Chevy pickup truck (which police later learned was reported stolen two days prior). The video shows Glass approach first, using a key to open the front door and enter, with Hughes trailing. 

The duo can be seen leaving the building 15 minutes later, carrying various items including a Target bag full of items. They return 10 minutes after that, at which point Glass is captured carrying the safe out to the pickup, with Hughes stepping in to help get it to the vehicle.  before they drive off.

At 3 a.m. the dark pickup comes back, and Hughes exits — then uses a swiped key fob to unlock and steal a Toyota van in the parking lot.

Mosque leaders showed this footage to police the following morning when they discovered what had happened.

The day after the burglary, the suspect pickup returned and drove slowly through the mosque parking lot. Mosque staff tried to follow it, at which point the driver sped off at 100 mph.

Confidential informants and tips from the public helped investigators identify the two suspects, seen in surveillance stills that had been released by the mosque.

Glass, it turned out, had been arrested in Anoka County on March 1, with authorities there saying he was spotted loading stolen Walmart laptops into a dark Chevy pickup truck.

Hughes told police that Glass repeatedly said they were taking various items because people at the mosque owed him money. Hughes also said he thought it was a daycare center, even though authorities note the building "is clearly identified as the 'Al Ihsan Islamic Center.'"

Glass and Hughes each face three counts: second-degree burglary from a religious building, motor vehicle theft and attempted theft. Both have prior felony convictions.

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