4 arrested, accused of stealing gold jewelry from Hindu temple in Riverdale

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Four people face federal charges after allegedly stealing gold jewelry from Hindu and Buddhist temples in six states, including Georgia.

Valer Iazmin Varga, 28, Robert-Auras Adam, 31, and Ana-Loredana Adam, 30, all Romanian nationals, were arraigned Wednesday on conspiracy to transport stolen goods charges, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney BJay Pak.

The three suspects, along with co-defendant Stela Patricia Varga, are accused of traveling to the places of worship to steal gold jewelry and cash, the release said. Stela Varga was arrested Wednesday in Slidell, La., on the same charges.

The temples they allegedly stole from include the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverdale.

Some of the suspects posted as tourists and distracted staff members while the others stole the items from the temples, including taking gold jewelry directly from statues in some instances, the release said.

The suspects tried to interfere with security cameras but were caught on camera within the sanctuaries stealing jewelry, the release said. When Varga, Robert-Auras Adam and Ana-Loredana Adam were arrested in June, more than $50,000 in cash was allegedly found on them despite none of them ever being employed in the U.S.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Lilburn police, Clayton County police, Delaware County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office, Bloomingdale (Ill.) police, Lemont (Ill.) police, Bridgeton (Mo.) police and Franklin (N.J.) police.

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