The Shree Hindu Mandir, off Uppingham Road, Leicester, has been burgled and cash stolen from collection boxes. When the temple staff arrived on Saturday morning, they found a rear fire door had been smashed in and the donation boxes forced open with coins scattered across the floor.
Worshipper Rav Thakor said: “It’s not a nice way to start Navratri. A lot of damage has been caused. It looks like they have forced open the collection boxes, taken the notes and dumped the coins. We don’t know how much was taken because nobody knows how much was in the collection boxes. It could be quite a bit because the mandir has been busy recently with a lot or readings and recitals of holy texts. Everyone was looking forward to celebrating Navratri but this has not been a very happy start to the festival. It has upset the community. We hope somebody knows who is responsible and calls the police.”
Leicestershire Police are investigating the crime and are appealing for witnesses. A police spokeswoman said the break-in took place sometime between 6.30 pm on Friday and 6.45 am on Saturday. Navratri began on Sunday and is a ten day festival leading up to Diwali.
The police have issued advice to worshippers to help them stay safe during Navratri. These are:
Be discreet when wearing jewellery in public and, if possible, cover a necklace with a scarf or other garment. If you are walking to a Navratri event put jewellery into a secure bag or pocket until you get there and put it on when you arrive. Do the same on the way home. Be aware of what is happening around you and trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe change your direction and go where you feel safer. Photograph all items of jewellery individually and keep the photos safe. Wherever possible leave valuables in a bank of safe deposit box and take them out only when needed. Lock all windows and doors at night and every time you leave home. Anyone with information about the break-in is urged to contact officers by calling 101.