White Settlement police have identified a suspect in a theft last year from a Buddhist temple in the North Texas city.
The theft was reported Nov. 20, 2022, at the Wat Busayadhammvanaram Buddhist Temple at 7916 White Settlement Road, around the same time as similar crimes at three other Buddhist temples in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said in a news release. In the White Settlement case, $38,000 was stolen.
Police said Monday that they have identified 36-year-old Narcis Chiciu, who is believed to live in the Arlington area, as a suspect. Police have obtained a second-degree felony warrant on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity for Chiciu and are working to identify additional suspects.
Anyone with information about the case or Chiciu’s whereabouts is asked to contact Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS or 817-246-7070 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chiciu was identified through law enforcement databases with the assistance of the Westworth Village Police Department, investigators said.
Investigators believe the Wat Busayadhammvanaram Buddhist Temple was targeted because the thieves had prior knowledge that the temple had a large amount of donations in the month of November.
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Two men and seven women arrived at the temple in a van, and investigators believe some of the suspects went inside to pray in order to distract the monks while others broke into the temple’s living quarters.
The minivan driven by the thieves was determined to be stolen out of Dallas and was recovered less than a mile from the temple, police said. The White Settlement Police Department have worked with Arlington and Dallas police and the FBI on this investigation.