Buddhist temple in Olympia burglarized

The Olympian, March 28, 2007

Olympia, WA (USA) -- Two men who visited a local Buddhist temple Tuesday afternoon and reportedly told members they were interested in learning more about the religion and its teachings are suspected of burglarizing the facility later that day, a Thurston County Sheriff's official said today.

Members of the Lien Hoa Vietnamese Temple at 1211 Wilson St. N.E. in Olympia told authorities that the two men arrived at around 4 p.m., Lt. Chris Mealy said.

One man was described as white while the other Hispanic. One of them reportedly said their name was 'Mark' and that they were from Portland.

Temple members told police they directed the men to an office where someone could further assist them and saw them proceed in that direction, but they themselves left afterwards.

The sheriff's office was alerted to the burglary at around 7:30 p.m. the same day.

Items stolen include personal papers, up to $400 in cash from the office, and an additional undisclosed sum taken from a locked donation box.

Anyone with information about this burglary is asked to contact Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.