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Man arrested for breaking into 80 temples

May 26. 2017
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By The Nation

A Buddhist man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into the living quarters of monks in 82 temples in Udon Thani and stealing amulets, cash and valuables over 11 months.

Khammual Sitabutr, 41, was arrested at 10 am on Thursday while he was allegedly selling amulets he had stolen from temples. 

He was arrested in Ban Na-aeng village in Tambon Nikhom Songkroh in Udon Thani’s Mueang district, Udon Thani police chief Pol Maj Gen Pirapong Wongsaman told a press conference on Friday.

Police seized two motorcycles without licence plate, three mobile phones, a notebook computer, and 200 Buddha amulets.

Pirapong said Udon Thani police conducted an investigation after a monk of Wat Pa Samakkhitham Bamphenphol in Mueag district filed a complaint that someone broke into his living quarters while he was collecting alms.

The monk, Phra Poonsawat, said he lost 70 amulets worth about Bt200,000.

Pirapong quoted Khammual as saying that he was released from jail in July after being convicted of stealing from a temple in 2013.

Khammual told police he was unemployed so he stole two motorcycles to use as vehicles to steal from temples. He said he broke into the living quarters of monks and also stole from donation boxes. He chose the timing when monks left the temple to collect alms.

Pirapong said during the past 11 months, Khammual had stolen from 59 temples in Mueang district, five in Nong Han district, five in Nong Wua Sor district, two in Kudjub district, three in Kukaew district, five in Phen district and three in Prachak Silapakhom district.

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