NASHIK: Temples are the new target for burglars in the city as donation money and jewellery from several shrine premises are going missing.

Starting this year, two such thefts were reported in January, while there were five cases registered in December, last year.

A senior police official said, “Police patrolling is being undertaken in all parts of the city daily, but the temple management also needs to beef up security at their premises to prevent such acts by the anti-socials.”

The trend has come into the spotlight after a theft was reported at the Kalika temple in Tambat lane of old Nashik area, on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, around 1.30am. Two unidentified burglars entered the temple by breaking the latches of the safety door and stole the jewellery of the deity.

On January 12, two burglars stole Rs 500 cash from the donation box of a temple in Vaibhav Colony, Rajeevnagar, under the jurisdiction of the Indiranagar police station.

Both the petty burglars, Raju Rajput, a resident of Phule Nagar, Panchavati and Raju Hodbe, a resident of Ramkund were immediately nabbed by the residents and handed over to the police.

Three temples were burgled in the Adgaon area on the intervening night of December 7 and 8 where some unidentified persons broke the locks of the temples, located closely to one another in the Adgaon village, and stole a total of Rs 5,500 from the donation boxes. The Adgaon police have registered a case of theft against unidentified burglars.

In the same month, on the intervening night of December 21 and 22, cash and coins, worth Rs 4,000 were stolen from the Durga Mata temple near Anuradha Talkies, Nashik Road. The theft was caught in the close circuit television (CCTV) cameras of the temple, which showed the burglars, who had their faces covered, changing the direction of the CCTV cameras and breaking the latches of the security gate. The theft came to light the next morning.

On December 21 evening, bells worth Rs 6,000, that were installed in the premises of Navshya Ganapati on Gangapur Road were also reported to be stolen.

Assistant commissioner of police (crime), Sachin Gore said that there intense police patrolling has been raised across the city at night. “The temple trustees should also ensure that they have proper security measures at their premises,” Gore said.

Police have also advocated that all the temples, especially the bigger ones, should install CCTV cameras so that the burglars can be identified.

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