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Suspects Sought Following Multiple Break And Enters Into Places Of Worship In York Region

Investigators with the York Regional Police #5 and #2 District Criminal Investigations Bureaus are seeking public assistance in identifying several suspects involved in at least six break, enter and thefts at various places of worship in the City of Markham and the Township of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

On Friday, July 21, 2023 around 11:20 a.m., two male suspects forced their way into a residence associated to the Buddhist Prajna Temple located on Wales Avenue in Markham.  The suspects stole a large quantity of Canadian and American currency before leaving in a dark-coloured SUV driven by a third suspect.

On Sunday, August 6, 2023, and again on Saturday, August 19, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., suspect(s) forced their way into a residence that is used as a Buddhist Temple, located on George Street, near Parkway Avenue in Markham. A large amount of cash and a safe was stolen.

On Sunday, August 13, 2023, around 12:15 p.m., two male suspects entered a residence used as a Buddhist Temple, on Hidden Forest Drive in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, through a sliding door.  The suspects were scared off by people inside and fled the area before police arrived. Fortunately, nobody was injured and nothing was stolen.

On Sunday, August 20, 2023, around 4 p.m., five male suspects attended the Buddhist Monastery on Kennedy Road in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. Two suspects asked for a blessing before they stole a safe containing a large amount of cash. The safe was placed into a white Hyundai Elantra before the suspects fled the area in the same vehicle.

On Sunday, September 3, 2023, around 10 a.m., four male suspects were seen wandering around the property of the Cham Sham Temple located on Bayview Avenue in Markham. The suspects forced their way into a private area belonging to staff who reside at the temple. They then stole a large amount of Canadian and Chinese money, along with a cell phone, before leaving the area in a silver sedan believed to be a Toyota Corolla.

Suspect #1 is described as male, 30 to 40 years old, 6’, 220 lbs. with a medium build and short black hair.

Suspect #2 is described as male, 30 to 40 years old, 5’10”, thin build, with black hair and partial beard.

Suspect #3 is described as male, 30 to 40 years old, approximately 6’, 200 lbs. with a medium build and short black hair.

Suspect #4 is described as male, 30 to 40 years old, 5’10”, 220 lbs. with a medium build.

The suspects are associated to three vehicles which include a dark-coloured SUV, a white Hyundai Elantra and possibly a silver four-door Toyota Corolla, model years between 2014 and 2016.

The suspects, along with the vehicles, were captured on video surveillance and investigators are releasing the attached images and appealing to the public for assistance to identify them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7545, or the #2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7244, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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