Raiders stole more than £2,500, a gold artefact that was used in religious ceremonies and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at a Crawley Sikh temple.
Police have appealed for witnesses to the break-in at the temple in Spencers Road, West Green, which happened in the early hours of September 26.
Dr Mohindar Galowalia, secretary of Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Crawley, a registered charity, said: “It will cost us thousands of pounds.”
The temple had given thousands of pounds to local causes, Dr Galowalia said.
Ajit Singh said the theft of the gold artefact, which was put on the Sikh holy book during special ceremonies, was “sacrilegious”.
Mr Singh said the temple was closed securely at 7.15pm. Its priest returned to find it ransacked at about 3.30am.
More than £2,500 including collection money was missing.
Intruders broke into two safes, a cabinet and steel cupboard.
Raiders used hydraulic tools to break into the safe which had the gold artefact.
CCTV footage which showed two men at the site at 2.29am has been handed to police.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police are investigating a break-in at the Sikh temple in Spencers Road, Crawley, which occurred overnight between 7.15pm on Friday September 25 and 3.30am on Saturday September 26.
“An external door and several internal doors were forced and a safe and cabinets broken into. Gold artefacts and cash worth more than £2,500 were stolen.”
He said the quality of CCTV images was too poor to use in the appeal.
Any information to police via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serial 212 of 26/09.
Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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