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Tallahassee man causes $48K in damages at Buddhist monastery

LCSO investigating burglary at Buddhist monastery
LCSO investigating burglary at Buddhist monastery2
Tallahassee man arrested in Buddhist monastery vandalism
Tallahassee man arrested in Buddhist monastery vandalism
Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 14:46:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A man has been arrested in connection to a burglary at a Buddhist monastery Monday morning. 

Ahmed Hinson, 28, has been taken into custody after an investigation.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office says they got the call about a potential burglary in progress at the Vien Giac Buddhist Monastery on North Monroe Street around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. 

When deputies arrived, they saw Hinson standing by a van backed up to the monastery garden and immediately took him into custody. They say that Hinson stated to a deputy on scene that, "God told him there are too many false idols and he was there to handle it."

As deputies walked through the monastery, they found numerous items that were damages to include 25 marble statues and marble ornaments that were damaged in the garden area.

The damage estimated by the monastery is approximately $48,000.

This case of vandalism comes a few days after a longtime Tallahassee business had its statues destroyed too. The Patio Shop lost around 90 percent of its inventory. Interestingly, all of the store's religious statues were destroyed.

The sheriff's Office is handling the monastery burglary while Tallahassee Police are investigating the Patio Shops's burglary. Right now, law enforcement has not made a connection between the two incidents. 

Hinson has been charged with burglary, petit theft, criminal mischief to a church over $10,000 and grand theft of a motor vehicle. He is set to make his first appearance in court Tuesday morning.