HomeCrimeMan arrested in robbery of Buddhist temple in Texas

Man arrested in robbery of Buddhist temple in Texas

A man accused of being responsible for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a Buddhist temple in North Texas back in 2022 has recently been apprehended by police.

The suspect, Narcis Chiciu, was arrested on May 22nd in Woodbury, Minnesota, according to a statement released by White Settlement police. Chiciu was identified using facial recognition software in Nov. 2023. Officers believe Chiciu was residing in Arlington at the time. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for a second-degree felony for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.

The burglary occurred at the Wat Busayadhammavanaram Buddhist Temple in White Settlement, Texas, on Nov. 20, 2022. $38,000 were stolen during the robbery by a group of suspects, with Chiciu suspected as the group’s ringleader, reported Fox4.

The suspects, caught on video, showed the mostly women in scarves and masks, distracting the monks and stealing cash. Chiciu was also caught on video, seemingly praying. This theft was a part of a string of similar robberies in three other Buddhist temples in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Investigators believe that the reason for why the Wat Busayadhammavanaram Buddhist Temple was targeted was because the temple received large amounts of donations that November, something the thieves were aware of beforehand.

“The old saying that you can run but you can’t hide rings true in this case”, said Christopher Cook, Chief of Police in White Settlement, in a statement. “I am thankful for our detectives’ tenacity and dedication to seeking justice in this case, which undoubtedly will also assist other law enforcement agencies in solving similar crimes.”.

Chiciu was taken into custody by the Woodbury Police Department, and will be extradited back to County, Texas following any additional charges filed by Minnesota authorities. Eight other suspects currently remain unidentified, but Cook told the the Star-Telegram that investigators hope to interview Chiciu and learn who the other suspects are.

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