Thief steals $50K from Buddhists

Video shows suspect; No arrest made

Published  9:47 PM HST Apr 10, 2013
Buddhist Church thief

A Buddhist community in Honolulu is in shock and disbelief.

Members say a man walked into their temple in broad daylight and stole $50,000.

It was caught on tape, but they need you help finding the suspect.

A man with a dark red shirt and jeans offered Buddhists at the Hsu Yun Temple  on Kawananakoa Place in Nuuanu to move chairs after a prayer session.

"A stranger came in and offered to help move some chairs.  The chairs were kind of heavy," said Jeannie Lum, President of the Chinese Buddhists Association of Hawaii.

But shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the man entered the temple again.

It's during that short window, the Chinese Buddhists association of Hawaii believes this man stole $50,000.

"We were panicking," said Lum.

Thirteen Buddhists visiting from China had saved their money for a special trip to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this sacred temple.

Now, they can only pray someone saw something or knows the man in the surveillance video. 

"If we're feeling this bad, I just hope this doesn't happened to someone who really needs that money for food or rent. That's why we want this man caught," said Lum. 

Honolulu Police are investigating this burglary.

Lum says the man looked like he was about 5-feet-8-inches-tall to 6-feet-tall and weighed about 180 pounds with short dark hair.

Click here to watch Kenny Choi's report.

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