Robbers break-in at Hindu temple in California; donation box stolen

Robbers break-in at Hindu temple in California; donation box stolen

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Break-in

New York, Oct 31 (IANS) Two suspects broke into a Hindu temple in California's Sacramento city and stole its donation box, police said.

Officers from the Sacramento Police Department reached Hari Om Radha Krishna Mandir in La Mancha Way at about 2:15 am after receiving reports of a burglary early on Monday morning.

Surveillance videos captured two thieves racing to the altar and going right through to the donation box, the CBS News reported.

The footage showed them taking the box, which weighed close to 100 pounds, behind the temple building and shoving it in a getaway car before fleeing off.

Temple keeper Guru Maharaj told CBS News that the box contained thousands of dollars.

"Looks like whoever has done it, it was premeditated," Maharaj told the channel.

"The first thing I saw was the curtains blowing and I said, 'Oh, my God. Somebody is in the building'," Maharaj's wife said, adding that they tried to break-in via the front, back and side doors.

"It's a very big hit to our community and we're here to help people out," Maharaj said.

"We have this land here. We are about to build 40 rooms of a homeless center so we can help people out, and if these things happen - if they continue to happen - how can we help other people?"

No arrests have been made so far and investigators are asking people who may recognise the suspects or have information related to the theft to call the Sacramento Police Department.

Condemning the incident in a message posted on X, US-based advocacy organisation Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) asked the Sacramento Police "to take this issue very seriously and investigate it as a potential hate crime and the violation of a sacred space".

Earlier this year in January, burglars targeted Shri Omkarnath Temple at Brazos Valley in Texas and stole its donation box.

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