August 21, 2009 10:39
Police on Thursday released CCTV footage of a man they suspect of stealing the ashes of the actress Choi Jin-sil.
The theft was recorded on a surveillance camera installed 20 m from Choi's tomb. Police initially thought CCTV would not be much of help as they assumed the theft took place on Aug. 14 or 15, while the camera broke down when it was struck by lightning on Aug. 12.
But when police examined footage recorded until then in the belief that the thief may have cased the scene in advance, they discovered that the theft had already taken place on Aug. 4, about 10 days earlier than assumed. The suspect is a short-haired man in his late 30s to early 50s. Due to low definition of the video, his face has not been identified.
Yangpyeong police are also investigating whether cemetery staff were negligent. The head of cemetery's management office said, "We're on duty 24 hours a day, and patrol twice a day, but we did not notice the theft sooner because the back of Choi's tomb was always covered with pictures and flowers from fans."
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