Thieves eat, pray for forgiveness while robbing Pattaya temple

Thieves stop for a bite to eat temple food before stealing from Nongyai Temple.

Two well-dressed thieves who robbed a Pattaya temple ate and asked forgiveness from Buddhist idols before fleeing.

Nongyai Temple Abbot Samuyongyuth Khemtaro, 84, said a coin box for merit-makers was stolen Oct. 20.

He said monks heard dogs barking and saw the burglars break apart the cash box.

But the burglars were in no hurry. Security cameras showed they also took food from the temple refrigerator and ate it. They then prayed to the Takien Goddess, seemingly asking for forgiveness, before they tried to steal the goddess’s donation box. However, they could not wrest it loose.

Samuyongyuth said the burglary is not the first, but Banglamung police have been useless. Officers told the monks they should try to catch thieves themselves. The abbot, however, refused to put the monks in harm’s way.

The abbot said he doesn’t want to prosecute the thieves but does want them to repent and stop stealing. If they are hungry, they can come to the temple for food, Samuyongyuth said.

The hungry criminals steal the temple’s donations coin box.