Taunts lead to thefts of high-heeled shoes, police say

File photo of high-heeled shoes.

Story highlights

  • Police: Suspect says he was tired of friends mocking him about his height
  • Police in Busan, South Korea, accuse him of taking the shoes and throwing them away
  • He's been linked to the thefts of as many as 20 pairs of shoes, a report says

A South Korean man upset that he was teased about his height is accused of stealing high-heeled shoes from public areas and throwing them away in parks and trash bins, police said Thursday.

The 24-year-old man told police that the unusual thefts in the southern city of Busan began after his female friends repeatedly mocked him about his height, according to a local police official who led the investigation.

The suspect, who is about 165 centimeters (5 feet, 5 inches) tall, was caught Sunday after police began investigating complaints of at least three pairs of shoes being stolen from an elementary school, according to the police official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the news media about the matter.

"We thought we were looking for a pervert," he said. "But after talking to him, we found out that he is a very normal person and could not find any evidence of perversion at his home or on his personal computer."

The suspect has been linked to the thefts of as many as 20 pairs of shoes, according to a Busan Metropolitan Police Agency report on the matter.

Police have yet to decide whether to charge the suspect, who does not have a prior criminal record, according to the police report.