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‘Prolific offender’ who allegedly broke into Mississauga temple, stole donation box sought by police

Peel police are searching for an individual they’re describing as a “prolific offender” who’s accused of breaking into religious institutions and stealing cash from donation boxes.

In a news release issued Monday, police said the latest incident in a string of similar alleged break-and-enters occurred on Oct. 4 at a temple in Mississauga, near Mississauga and Alpha Mills roads.

Unreleased surveillance video of the alleged break-in reportedly shows the suspect entering the temple and stealing a donation box containing “a large sum of currency,” Peel Regional Police (PRP) said.

Following an extensive investigation, police said they identified the suspect as 41-year-old Jagdish Pandher of no fixed address.

Investigators say they are seeking an arrest warrant for Pandher in connection with the Oct. 4 incident.

Earlier this month, PRP announced that they had charged Pandher – who was already in police custody for similar offences – in connection with five other commercial break-ins in the region from March to  August 2023. Three of those break-ins were at places of worship, police said at the time.

A Peel Regional Police spokesperson told CTV News Toronto that Pandher is not currently in police custody.

“Which is why we are seeking a warrant for his arrest,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Police underscored that although these break-ins occurred at places of worship, investigators believe the alleged incidents were “crimes of opportunity” and not motivated by hate.

Anyone with any information on Jagdish’s whereabouts is asked to contact the 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 905-453-2121, ext. 1133, or Crime Stoppers anonymously.