CHEONGJU, South Korea, Oct. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – With the South Korean economy mired in a period of slow growth, public installations are increasingly becoming the target of petty crime as burglars struggle to sustain their livelihood.
Last Tuesday, thieves made off with two name plates that were installed on a bridge in Okcheon, Chungbuk Province. Another name plate on a bridge in Youngdong-gun has also been reported as stolen. All of them were made of copper.
In less populated areas like the countryside, traffic installations as well as manhole covers have been stolen. In some cases, even guardrails have been removed using oxygen acetylene welders.
Copper name plates and other items are worth more than 10,000 won each depending on the size. However, restoring them costs around 300,000 to 500,000 won each, more than tenfold the cost of selling them.
Authorities are replacing copper signs with stone name plates or burying guardrails instead of fastening them with bolts to prevent any further “disappearances.” They are developing stricter measures to manage public installations in less populated areas as well as conducting checks on all stolen items for police investigation.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)