BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 2 — A man with two criminal records was arrested to help in investigation into the theft of a Dewi Sivagami idol in the Sri Mangalanayagi Amman Devasthanam temple, Bukit Mertajam here on July 25.
The 47-year-old suspect, who was tested drug positive, was arrested while riding a motorcycle near a flat in Perai, near here at 2.45pm yesterday.
Seberang Perai Tengah District police chief ACP Rusli Mohd Noor said the suspect from Port Klang, Selangor was detected from a CCTV recording at the temple.
“In the incident on July 25, the temple management found that the copper Dewi Sivagami idol, measuring about 30 cm, missing and a check on the CCTV revealed a man had stolen it and fled by the temple’s back door,” he told Bernama here today.
He said the Suzuki RC80 motorcycle used by the suspect was also believed to a stolen motorcycle that was reported missing in Butterworth recently.
The man, who was homeless, admitted stealing the Dewi Sivagami idol from a temple and sold it for RM50 to a 53-year-old woman in Kampung Manis, Perai, he said.
Rusli said the suspect committed the theft because he did have any money to buy drugs and the police also recovered the idol at the woman’s house.
“Following the arrest of the suspect, police believed they have solved the case and we are investigating whether he has anything to do with the incidents relating to the idols that were destroyed in two Hindu temples in Penanti Estate, Ara Kuda near here in early June,” he said. — Bernama