Brazos County Hindu temple broken into, donation box stolen

A video was captured by security cameras inside the temple showing a person ignoring the shrine and going straight to the donation box.
KBTX News 3 at Ten EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:06 PM CST
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BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas (KBTX) - A local Hindu temple is upping security after a burglary left the congregants feeling violated.

“There was a sense of invasion, that sense of loss of privacy when something like this happened to us,” Srinivasa Sunkari, a Board member for the Brazos Valley Shri Omkarnath Temple said.

This is the only Hindu temple in the Brazos Valley, a place for local Hindus to worship, and find peace and community. But, since Jan. 11, they’ve been focusing on security.

“There was a break-in. They broke in through the side window and what was immediately apparent was missing is our donation box and a safe in which we keep our valuables,” Sunkari said.

The temple sits just outside of College Station, locked behind a gate. When the burglary happened around 4:00 a.m., Sunkari says they’re grateful it wasn’t worse for their community.

“The priest and his family who live in an apartment right behind the temple, they are safe,” he said.

A video captured by security cameras inside the temple shows a person ignoring the shrine and going straight to the donation box. The suspect then used the temple’s cart to wheel it out the door.

Sunkari says they notified the community members at a gathering Sunday, sharing the leaders’ sentiment for more security. But, he says the group won’t let this incident keep them from their commitment.

“We will rebound, we will take extra precautions to make sure our priest is safe and this family is safe and our place of worship is safe. And we hope that something like this doesn’t happen to anybody in the future,” Sunkari said.

The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating the burglary.