Two Buddhist temples, one in Illinois and one in Washington, were burglarized in August. The two burglaries are not related.
The Buddhist Institute of Universal Compassion in Spokane, Washington was burglarized on Sunday, August 13. According to KREM 2, the group of burglars created a diversion by requesting prayers.
Malia Ethredge, the temple’s communication coordinator, told KREM 2 that two women knocked on the temple doors. They claimed they wanted to make a donation and requested prayers from the temple. While they were inside, another woman was captured on video behind the temple, appearing to be on the phone.
The temple believes the woman had been there before to stake out the residence, KHQ reports.
The group of women came back later and broke into a window. They left the residence with nearly $6,000.
“Donations,” Ethredge told KREM 2. “The donations that were being saved for a new heating/cooling system for the temple.”
On Wednesday, August 30, the Ratanaram Buddhist Temple in Rockford, Illinois was burglarized just before 6 p.m. According to 23WIFR, the suspects (3 women and one man) initially showed up to the temple around 1:30 p.m., but returned later.
The suspects stole more than $10,000 in cash, gold and electronics.
“This coming weekend we are having a big celebration so we actually got the cash from the bank and get ready for tomorrows celebration so they knew it was gonna happen,” temple member Sengla Vanmanivong told 23WIFR.
Leaders said they would not let the burglary ruin their celebration.
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