On Monday, August 21, a man was arrested for robbing a convenience store in Iksan, North Jeolla Province.
The incident occurred at 7 pm (KST) on Monday. The suspect is an Uruguayan national in his 30s, and he reportedly stole ₩500,000 KRW (about $373 USD) from the store after intimidating the clerk with a toy gun. He used a translator to demand the money, threatening with the toy weapon concealed underneath his clothing. Apart from the stolen cash, no additional damage occurred in this incident.
The police received a distress call from the store clerk reporting that the suspect “threatened me with an object resembling a gun,” They promptly issued a code zero, denoting the highest responding level. 44 former members of the Criminal Department, including Special Forces and off-duty officers from Iksan Police Station, were swiftly mobilized in the area. District police personnel and officers from police boxes were also deployed, amounting to over 350 law enforcement professionals on the lookout for the suspect.
The police investigated CCTV footage of over 50 shopping centers and residences near the area and reinforced checkpoints within public transport hubs. The suspect had reportedly changed his clothes to evade detection, but based on the physical description provided, the police could identify him. He was caught within three hours of the robbery.
They recovered a ski mask, the stolen money, and some other items from the man. He reportedly confessed to discarding the gun in the neighborhood. After thoroughly searching for the firearm, investigators confirmed it was a toy modified to resemble an actual gun.
According to the Act on the Safety Management of Guns, Swords, Explosives, it is strictly prohibited in South Korea to possess guns except for authorized personnel in security-related fields. But the suspect will likely be charged under Article 334 of the Criminal Act, which says that anyone that forcibly takes another’s property through violence or intimidation while trespassing can be punished with a prison sentence of from five years to life.
The case is still under investigation.