Temple thieves: 200kg safe carrying some $3,000 stolen from Bedok temple
When a temple caretaker saw a 200kg safe missing from the premises on Wednesday (July 12) morning, he thought that management might have taken it away to have it repainted.
When he saw several offering boxes inside the Seu Teck Sean Tong Yiang Sin Sia temple had been pried open, and the lock on the side gate broken on the ground, he realised a theft had taken place.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the caretaker, surnamed Yu, said the temple – located in Bedok Ave 3 – is currently undergoing renovation and upgrading works.
To make things convenient for devotees, a number of statues were moved out into a makeshift tent.
"Two safes were also moved outside; we didn't think someone would take one of them away," said Yu.
Yu estimates that $3,000-$5,000 was taken from the safe and offering boxes.
"Usually during Qing Ming or Seventh Month, more people will come to the temple (and donate); but right now is considered a dry period.”
When police visited the temple to investigate, they found marks on a walkway some 40m away. It is believed to be where the thieves transported the safe from the trolley to their vehicle, reported Shin Min.
The temple has not had any CCTV cameras installed on the premises for 41 years, said Yu, who added that management had intended to install them after renovations were complete.
According to Shin Min, the thieves left behind a broken trolley, believed to have been used to move the safe out of the temple.
Yu said police have asked for the records of vehicles which entered the nearby car park.