Fresno Buddhist temple was robbed today (1/30/2022) by a group of individuals.
They lured the monks away from their rooms to ask for a blessing by all monks. While getting the blessing others were picking the locks of the monk’s quarters getting away with $35,000 and passports of one of the monks.
More details: the money belonged to one of the temple’s monk and was being saved for the monk’s son’s wedding that was to take place in Cambodia; as well as many other festivals and holy traditions that the temple does. Besides his passport, his U.S. Citizenship papers were taken, birth certificate, and his late wife’s jewelry.
The group of thieves had reportedly visited the temple the day prior and asked questions about how long chants and services are, quite possibly how they figured out a perfect window of opportunity to grab the stuff. There is possibly some video footage available of the vehicles that may have been involved from a neighbor, but it is still yet to be viewed. The temple does have cameras, but given a large temple it is hard to cover a vast area. A police report has been filed with Fresno County Sheriff’s Department.
This has happened in other states and temples, but I could never imagine the day it happened in our own community.
This GoFundMe has been set up to help raise the funds back to the monk, donations are gratefully appreciated.