Two Arrested in Temple Robbery

By Kevin Masterman, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:02 a.m. January 20, 2014

Hold Up investigators have arrested a man and a woman in connection with a recent robbery at a Hindu Temple.

A pixelated surveillance image of a mini van
Police are looking for the person who drove this van the night of the robbery

A man and a woman walked into a Hindu Temple near Kennedy Rd. and McNicoll Ave. around 9 p.m. on January 12 asking for the head priest, who had coincidentally greeted them at the door. The woman put a gun to the head of the priest and ordered him to the ground and zip-tied the priest so he could not move.

Hold Up S/Insp. Mike Earl said the man moved on to the rest of the half dozen or so worshippers in the temple before their plan went awry.

"As he began rounding up the other victims, one managed to elude them and get out a door," Earl said. "This caused them to abandon their plan."

The man and woman left the temple immediately as the escaped victim called 9-1-1.

Police are now asking for the public's assistance identifying a man associated to the two accused known as "Kumar." Security camera video captured what police believe to be his mini-van leaving the temple on the night of the robbery. The van is described as a light-colored, older mini-van. 

S/Insp. Mike Earl said the sanctity of the temple was violated by this robbery.

"It's a safe haven," Earl said. "It's a unique robbery when a church or place of worship is (targeted). It's an unspeakable crime."

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-7350, or through Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Tipsters can also download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Jermaine Copeland, 28, and Kaitlynn Dutton, 19, both of Toronto, are facing multiple charges of robbery, forcible confinement and disguise with intent. They also both face a charge of possession of counterfeit money and Copeland faces an additional break-and-enter charge.

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