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Temple thief caught and beaten up

A Malaysian man caught stealing RM30 (S$10) from a donation box at a Hindu temple in George Town, Penang, was beaten up and handed over to the police.

The man had also apparently stolen a donation box from a church before this.

Around 2.30am on Friday, the man had broken two padlocks and stolen RM30 from the temple's donation box, said Arulmigu Sri Ruthra Veeramuthu Maha Mariamman Temple secretary T. Shankar.

The 39-year-old was trying to break another box when one of the residents nearby heard noises and came over with about 20 other men from the neighbourhood to investigate, The Star reported.

"They saw the man fleeing and gave chase. They caught him and beat him up," Mr Shankar said.

DAMAGED: The thief had broken two padlocks. PHOTO: THE STAR

He said the man had earlier forced his way into the temple through the front gate.

POLICE REPORT

This was the third such incident at the temple in the past two years, he said, adding that a police report was lodged.

George Town police chief Assistant Commissioner Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said a stolen motorcycle was used by the suspect and another donation box with RM130, believed to be stolen from a nearby church, was found on it.

The suspect has been remanded until Aug 12, said AC Mior Faridalathrash, adding that the money had been returned.

The suspect, he said, had a criminal record for burglary and motorcycle theft.

In the past two months, there were four reported vandalism cases at Hindu temples in Penang.

The Sri Dharma Muniswarar Temple and Muthu Mariamman Temple were desecrated in June, while in early July, the Dewa Sri Mathuraiveeran and the Sri Muneeswarar temples were vandalised.

It was reported on Friday that an addict, who was arrested for stealing a statue from a Hindu temple and selling it to buy drugs, had been jailed 10 months in Penang.

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