SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A San Jose resident faces charges linked to a string of burglaries targeting churches and temples across the South Bay, resulting in the theft of substantial donation sums.

Jaime Gutierrez Flores, 33, was apprehended at a San Jose church over the weekend. He now faces charges for at least seven separate burglaries, each involving the theft of collection money. Additionally, Flores stands accused of assaulting a police officer by driving a stolen vehicle at a Sunnyvale officer who was attempting to detain him after a burglary at a Hindu temple. Remarkably, this temple was burglarized on three separate occasions within a month.

Authorities are actively investigating the involvement of other suspects in these break-ins, as well as potential links to other burglary incidents.

Flores appeared in court yesterday at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, where he was held on bail set at $1 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 22, and he could face imprisonment if convicted.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen emphasized the significance of these sacred spaces, stating, “Our schools, our homes, our places of worship, are special and sacred places and when they are invaded by criminals it feels as though our whole community has been violated. Our Office will hold this criminal, and anyone who acted with him, fully responsible to the law.”

The crimes attributed to Flores occurred between December of the previous year and last month. These include:

  • Breaking into a Santa Clara church with an accomplice on December 4, stealing $1,805 worth of property, including $1,640 in cash donations.
  • Forcing entry into a Milpitas temple with two others on December 5, stealing a donation box, damaging another, and making off with approximately $6,000 in cash.
  • Breaking into a Sunnyvale temple with an accomplice, first stealing $15,000 in donations, then returning the next night to steal $25,000 more. On this occasion, they narrowly avoided injuring a police officer while fleeing in a stolen vehicle.
  • Burglarizing a church in San Jose, along with several other businesses in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and San Jose.
  • Investigators discovered searches related to temples on Flores’ phone, indicating a potential pattern in his criminal activities.