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From Successful 386 Generation Elite to Campus Petty Thief

From Successful 386 Generation Elite to Campus Petty Thief

Posted June. 09, 2005 06:37,   


“A Seoul National University elite alumnus is a petty thief?”

Recently, in Seoul National University (SNU), there have been incidents of students’ belongings disappearing in various places around campus where sports events were taking place. Police went on ambush duty after receiving reports from students, and finally caught the thief on June 7.

Police and SNU students were surprised after the thief revealed his identity. He was none other than a graduate of SNU.

Gwanak Police Station issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Shin (42) on June 8 on charges of stealing from piles of belongings left by students playing sports on campus athletic fields.

According to police, Shin is accused of using the disorder made by students cheering at campus sporting events such as “President’s Cup Ball Games” to go through clothes and bags left by students and stealing around 490,000 won in cash. He is also accused of spending around 2,080,000 won with a stolen credit card.

A class of 1981 sociology major, Shin was a member of the Student Council in 1984 and was even regarded one of the so-called “386 generation elites” when he entered a broadcast company as a producer in 1990.

Even after leaving the company in 1998, he was active in his work until recently, producing a big-scale musical performance for a production company early this year and arranging an alma mater visitation event for the alumni of his department.

However, according to police reports, Shin has been suffering from mania since his mother suddenly committed suicide the year he entered the broadcast company, and in addition to leaving the company due to this illness, he has been separated from his wife since 2000.

Shin has been reported to have said that he “committed the crime because his living conditions were not good since he started staying in his relatives’ homes and rooms in Shillim-dong.”

Jae-YoungKim jaykim@donga.com