Baker admits to faking ‘rat bread’

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Baker admits to faking ‘rat bread’

The baker who said he found a dead rat in a loaf of bread from Paris Baguette reversed his story and admitted that he baked the tainted loaf himself in his Tous Les Jours bakery franchise in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi.

The 35-year-old baker, surnamed Kim, admitted to police Thursday that he plotted the scheme to hurt the rival bakery, which is located 100 meters (328 feet) from his shop.

“I apologize to the people for causing troubles,” Kim said yesterday afternoon prior to submitting himself to additional questioning by Suseo Police in southern Seoul. “My family hasn’t done anything wrong. I’m solely responsible for this and I’m so sorry to my family.”

Kim told police that he and his wife took over a local branch of the bakery chain Tous Les Jours in October 2009, which left them 100 million won in debt.

“I figured if people learned a rat was found in Paris Baguette’s bread, it would naturally hurt its image and my store’s business would go up,” Kim said.

According to police, Kim found a dead rat in a parking lot across from his store on Dec. 21 and he came up with the scheme on the spot.

Kim put the rat in his store’s freezer, and on the following day he asked his 10-year-son to buy chestnut bread from the rival Paris Baguette store. That way, police said, the baker got a Paris Baguette receipt and bag.

“I snuck into [my] store late at night when my wife and the staff had left, put the rat in the dough and baked a loaf of bread,” Kim told police. “I took pictures of the ‘rat bread’ and Paris Baguette receipt and I sent them to my e-mail. Then I went to a PC cafe in the neighborhood and posted the pictures on the Web using another person’s ID.”

Police said they found flypaper in Kim’s store, which he may have used as a mouse trap. National Forensic Service investigators found traces of adhesives on the leg of the rat. Police are continuing to investigate to determine if Kim caught the rat deliberately. They filed an arrest warrant to detain Kim.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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