69-year-old man arrested for allegedly stealing temple donations in Paya Lebar

When the temple management reviewed surveillance footage, they discovered that a man had been stealing money several times a month from as early as March.
When the temple management reviewed surveillance footage, they discovered that a man had been stealing money several times a month from as early as March. PHOTOS: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS READER

SINGAPORE - A 69-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday (May 30) for allegedly stealing money from donation boxes at a Buddhist temple in Paya Lebar.

Police said they received a report last Thursday that a man had stolen money from donation boxes from a temple along Arumugam Road.

The man was subsequently arrested on Wednesday along Upper Boon Keng Road.

A pair of blue slippers, a jacket, black non-sticky tape, a can of contact adhesive, double-sided tape and scissors were seized as case exhibits, said a police spokesman.

According to Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News, the man allegedly used a belt and double-sided tape to reach into the donation box to steal money at Kim Hong Temple.

The temple chairman told the Chinese daily that they became suspicious when they emptied the donation boxes last week, only to find a few notes inside.

When the temple management reviewed surveillance footage, they discovered that a man had been stealing money from the donation box several times a month from as early as March, reported Shin Min.

In one video clip taken on May 23 at around 2am, the man was seen wearing a hooded jacket and holding a belt as he walked towards the donation boxes. He inserted the belt into the slit on top of the box to retrieve the money in an operation that lasted no more than 20 seconds, reported Shin Min.

The temple chairman said the man stole money from all three of its donation boxes, and estimated losses at thousands of dollars.

If convicted of theft, the man is liable for up to three years of jail or a fine, or both.