A 46-year-old woman was in custody Friday morning in connection with the theft of three statues, each valued at $1,000, from a Buddhist temple in Santa Ana, authorities said.
Trang Tau Pham was suspected of taking two 2-foot-tall statues from the Chua Truc Lam Yen Tu Buddhist Temple, located at 1924 West 2nd Street, on Feb . 26, the Santa Ana Police Department said in a statement.
The incident was captured on surveillance video, which shows a woman removing the figures from a shrine near the sidewalk in front of the place of worship. According to investigators, the same person returned to the site on March 6 and stole a third statue.
“After viewing the surveillance video, the victim recognized the suspect as the same suspect that was arrested in 2015 for vandalizing another temple,” the news release said. “The victim remembered the media coverage from the previous incident and searched the Internet for the story.”
That person found a booking photo of Pham, who was arrested on Jan. 13, 2015, and convicted of vandalizing a place of worship, police said. She was sentenced to 268 days in jail and placed on five years of probation.
She never reported to the Orange County Probation Department, and was arrested Friday morning on a no-bail warrant for a probation violation, according to the Police Department. Investigators were questioning her about the theft of the statues.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call Detective Alfredo Castro at 714-245-8345.