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SINGAPORE – A Taoist temple in Changi Road said it will change the locks on its doors after “thousands” of dollars were allegedly stolen from donation boxes by two thieves on Saturday.

CCTV footage taken at Hoon Sian Keng temple showed two suspects picking the locks of the temple’s doors at 1.50am on Saturday.

The temple was closed at that time, and the temple contacted the police at 2.20am.

When the men saw no one in the temple hall, they used a torchlight to check if there was cash in the donation boxes. They slid a long stick with double-sided tape into two boxes and moved it several times.

The duo retrieved the cash stuck to the tool’s sticky ends.

A female committee member who lives in the temple spotted the duo in action.

“When the committee member saw the thieves, they immediately ran away. She tried contacting other temple committee members. We then did a check of the temple for any more thieves,” the temple’s assistant treasurer, Mr Issac Thong, told The Straits Times on Sunday.

He added that the temple will file a police report on Sunday.

The temple was unable to confirm the amount of money stolen.

In January, two Chinese nationals were sentenced to three months’ jail for stealing a total of $11,930 from several temples, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported.

They used a tool with double-sided tape to retrieve notes from the donation box. One of them said he learnt to make the tool from videos on Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok.

In another recent case, two men were sentenced to six months’ jail last October for breaking into a temple in Sembawang on three occasions within a month, according to Shin Min Daily News. They also used a similar tool to retrieve cash from donation boxes. Thieves make off with ‘thousands’ in cash from Changi temple’s donation boxes

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