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Man steals thousands of dollars from donation box at Queens temple

RICHMOND HILL, Queens — A thief stole over $3,000 out of a donation box from a Queens temple Tuesday morning, according to police.

Police released surveillance video on Saturday that captured the man, who was not wearing a mask, as he wandered around Shree Tulsi Mandir on 111th Street in Richmond Hill.

Detectives said he got inside the temple through a side door, grabbed the cash and took off.

“I think it’s heartless to do something like that,” Laxhmi Persaud, who goes to the temple often, told PIX11. She said the temple has opened its doors to the community for years. “When they had the fire here on Liberty Avenue, the family opened this church and their hearts to people to have them stay there for a little while.”

“It’s pretty safe here," neighborhood resident Ruby Kaur said. "[I've] been living here for 10 years, never has anything like that happened,” she said.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).