Buddhist monks robbed at gunpoint in Flatbush temple: NYPD

Detectives and officers from the 70th Precinct investigate a home invasion at the Cambodian Watt Samakki temple on Rugby Road in Flatbush.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Flatbush Buddhist temple on Sunday afternoon.

Officers from the 70th Precinct say they are looking for three suspects who robbed the Cambodian Watt Samakki temple at 26 Rugby Road on Feb. 11 at around 2:30 p.m.

A police representative said the suspects used a chair to hop a fence and gain access to the property, before they then forcibly entered the location through a back door, according to preliminary investigation.

Once inside, one of the suspects allegedly brandished a handgun and stole several of the monks personal items and an undisclosed amount of cash. No injuries were reported by police.

The men fled northbound on Rugby Road following the incident and remain at large.

Following the robbery, the NYPD’s evidence collection unit was seen taking photos of the premises and processing the chair used to hop the fence surrounding the property.

Detectives analyze the chair used to gain entry to the property.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

There have been no arrests made so far as the investigation remains ongoing.

In the 70th Precinct, where Sunday’s incident occurred, reported robberies have risen by some 20% since last year. So far in 2024, there have been 18 robberies, up from 15 when compared to the same period in 2023, per the latest Police Department data.

Brooklyn Paper has reached out to the Watt Samakki temple for comment on the incident. The house of worship did not respond by publication.