Canada: Indian-origin man arrested for multiple break-ins and thefts at Hindu temples in Ontario

Police have arrested an Indian-origin person in connection with a series of burglaries that occurred at Hindu temples in Ontario province of Canada.

The arrested person was identified as Jagdish Pandher.

Durham Regional Police Service said in a statement on Thursday (December 28, 2023), “Although these offences occurred at places of worship, they do not appear to be hate crimes or motivated by hate.”

Police said on October 8 its personnel responded to reports of a break-and-enter in progress at a Hindu temple in the area of Bayly Street and Krosno Boulevard in Pickering.  

“A male was seen on security surveillance breaking into the temple and taking a large quantity of cash from the donation boxes,” police said.

“The male fled the area prior to police arrival. The male was seen on surveillance footage later that morning committing additional break-and-enters at Hindu temples in Pickering and Ajax,” read the statement.

Investigators have linked the same suspect to numerous other break-and-enters at Hindu temples throughout the year.  

These break-and-enters occurred in Durham Region and around the Greater Toronto Area.