Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Buddhist monk caught shoplifting beef jerky

It was April 10, 2014, and a Buddhist monk was apparently experiencing a serious jones for jerked meat. Many Taiwanese were shocked when the sworn vegetarian was caught on camera, not only stealing, but stealing beef jerky, from a store near the Zen Buddhist temple in Nantou.

Budhist monks in Taiwan give up meat, alcohol and sex, abstaining from anything that involves killing or intoxicants. So people were doubly shocked when the sixty year old was shown on camera pinching the tasty meat product, not once, but on three recent occasions.

When confronted by police, the unnamed monk reportedly became flustered and admitted to recent cravings for meat saying “It was the covetous desire inside me, I am very sorry, I have let Lord Buddha down.” He added, “I was careless and forgot to pay. I would like to make reparations and pay the store.”

They arrested him for theft.

Citing the case as an example, the spokesman for the Religion Trade Union of Nantou County issued a statement reminding other religious in that area that though meat eating is a violation of Buddhist principles, stealing it is a violation of Taiwanese law.

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