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2 failed break-ins at Buddhist temples may be part of crime wave

Authorities in Hanover County, Virginia are investigating two attempted break-ins at a Buddhist temple and wondering if its part of a larger crime ring.

As AsAmNews reported last month, authorities are also looking into similar robberies of temples in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and Nashville.

In the Virginia cases, ABC8 reports three suspects banged loudly on the back door and attempted to get in. Investigators believed the suspects had planned to rob the temple. In the October 16 incident, the suspects were able to enter the building, but left when they realized there were people inside.

”He didn’t get any money both times,” said Buddhist monk Sopal Ork to NBC 12 On Your Side.

Investigators suspect both break-ins are part of a larger trend.

”Based on all of the information that we have received back from our partners, our law enforcement partners, there have been no acts of violence committed against the monks or anything like that, which that’s a good thing, but it appears that the motive at this point is larceny, is to steal stuff,” Lt. James Cooper said.

However a monk in Nashville wasn’t as lucky. A group of 5 people including a woman holding a baby hit him and held him down while they robbed the temple of $4,000.

Monk Nom Lengslvath says he won’t be intimidated.

“Every time I’m talking about it happened, I feel, you know, the same thing I feel the day it happened, but I’m not scared,” Lengslvath told WKRN.

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