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Karnataka's biggest heist: 15 ancient idols stolen

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Karnataka: 15 ancient idols stolen
Mangalore, July 8: In one of the biggest burglary of antiques in Karnataka,15 priceless ancient idols were stolen from one of the oldest and holiest Jain temple - Siddhanta Mandira near Mangalore.

The jain idols were tenth century old and police believes that the robbery started at 1.10 am on Saturday and lasted three hours.

According to the police sources, at least four thieves were involved in the robbery. However, out of the total eight CCTVs installed in the premises, two cameras have captured only one person and he is wearing a mask.

Police sources say that the person entered the main temple building through a window after cutting open the grill with a gas cutter.

The footage shows a person in his early 30s, entering with a flashlight in his mouth and a cutter in his hand. The footage shows him entering the strong room, breaking open the glass enclosure and taking out each of the 15 priceless statues.

What happened next inside the strong room is not known since the person smashes all the CCTV cameras on sight.

There were in all 52 idols kept for public viewing by the devout Jains who come from all over the world there. Three security staff members were on duty at the time of the incident, but the thieves still managed to get away with the idols made of gold and precious stones.

Thieves, however, left the ancient sacred Dhavala text, also considered priceless and kept right next to the idols, untouched. While all the 15 idols are invaluable, Bahubali (Gommateshwara) in a sitting pose is considered to be only one of its kind in the entire world.

The temple was inside Guru Basadi in Moodabidri, about 37 kilometers from Mangalore.

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