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Witnesses sought - Quan Am Monastery, Bombay

Witnesses sought - Quan Am Monastery, Bombay

Police investigating the aggravated robbery of a Buddhist Monastery on Friday night are calling for any witnesses to come forward. On Friday 16 August around 8:00pm, 58-year-old Vietnamese Monk Thich Phuoc An was attacked, bound and robbed.

Thich Phouc An received injuries to his face and abdomen after being assaulted during the robbery, and has sustained a broken arm that will require surgery later this week. In the meantime, he has been released from hospital.

During the robbery, money was stolen including cash from a donations box.

Three heavily disguised male offenders are sought. At least one of the offenders was armed with a weapon which may have been a baseball bat.

"This was a planned attack on a member of the Buddhist community in the sanctity of the temple. Anyone who has knowledge of the identity of the offenders should do the right thing and contact the Police or Crimestoppers," says Detective Senior Sergeant Aaron Proctor.

Police are seeking information on a blue Mazda station wagon that was stolen on Wednesday from near Middlemore Hospital, and found by Police on Saturday morning abandoned behind shops in Manurewa. A similarly described vehicle drove into the Monastery the day prior to the robbery. If the person who had this vehicle during this time was not associated with this incident, they are advised to come forward.

Police are also looking for information on a small silver or light coloured hatchback that was seen at the Monastery earlier in the week. The driver is described by witnesses as a male Caucasian and Police are looking to speak with him to eliminate him from the enquiry.

Any local residents who noticed any unusual behaviour that is not normal to the area should report it to Police. This includes sightings of suspicious vehicles, people or movements in the week leading up to Friday 16 August or immediately after. The temple is close to State Highway 1, immediately east of the Beaver Road southbound on ramp. Since the location is somewhat remote, any activity during the time of the robbery may have stood out to locals or passers-by in the Beaver Road area.

The three offenders left the Monastery after the robbery, trying without success to steal the Monk's car from the site. Given the remote location of the scene, a vehicle was most likely used by the offenders to leave the area.

Anyone who has information on this incident should come forward to Police by contacting Detective Senior Sergeant Aaron Proctor of the Papakura CIB on 09 261 1300 or to submit information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Location of the Monastery:

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