Thieves cut hole in wall to crack safe

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Thieves cut hole in wall to crack safe

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Suspects broke into a restaurant and cut through the kitchen wall with an acetylene torch to crack an iron safe in a post office, stealing 52.13 million (48,300 dollar) won between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Sunday in Yeosu, South Jeolla.[NEWSIS]


YEOSU, SOUTH JEOLLA - Police are pursuing suspects who cracked an iron safe at a post office and stole about 50 million won.

According to the Yeosu Police Precinct in South Jeolla, a restaurant owner in Wolha-dong called the police at 5:27 a.m. on Sunday and reported that “someone broke into my restaurant and drilled through the kitchen wall.”

The back of the post office’s safe abuts the restaurant’s cut-out wall. The wall had a 27-centimeter (10.6-inch) wide and 38-centimeter high hole.

The police said 52.13 million won ($48,300) in cash was stolen from the safe.

The police said four staff members work in the post office, which is located on the first floor of a two-story building.

It added that a cargo transportation service is located on the second floor.

The police said that the back wall of the safe is a 7 to 8-centimeter thick plate made of polystyrene and iron.

The police judged that the suspects drilled into the wall of the restaurant after breaking through a window of the restaurant.

The suspects took the money from the safe after they cut a hole with an acetylene torch.

The police suspect that the thieves knew the inside structure of the building well because they accurately pinpointed where to make the hole.

It added that the two CCTV cameras installed in the hallway leading to the restaurant were blacked out with spray paint.

The police estimated that it only took about 50 minutes for the suspects to steal the money.

The police later found footage from a CCTV camera installed in the post office that showed sparks coming from the safe.

It judged that the sparks were generated while the suspects cut through the restaurant’s wall with an acetylene torch.

The post office is guarded by a private security service, but alarms didn’t go off because the suspects weren’t actually in the post office.

“The suspects used different tools to break the wall and safe including an acetylene torch, a drill and a bolt-cutter,” Kim Sang-mun, the chief investigator of the Yeosu Police, told the JoongAng Ilbo.

“We judge that two or three suspects who had knowledge of the layout of the restaurant are involved in this case.”

The police are currently reviewing the black boxes of cars that were parked near the post office and are also questioning nearby merchants.

By Choi Kyeong-ho [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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