A South Korean second-hand shoe-shop owner stole more than 1,200 pairs of designer shoes by pretending to be a mourner in many funeral homes and hospitals.

So much more than just a man with an uncontrollable fetish for shoes, this haul of footwear was the haul to end all others. The police have put the “lost soles” on display in the hopes of reuniting them with their original owners.

The 59-year-old thief is a man named Mr. Park, and his victims were all mourners who had removed their shoes in funeral homes out of respect, which is the South Korean national tradition.

Park would attend funerals, remove his own footwear and after the ceremony, put on a more expensive pair and walk off to another funeral across the capital city of Seoul.

He had been under surveillance and Mr. Park himself unwittingly led the police to his secret stash; a warehouse filled to the brim with expensive shoes that he planned to use to replenish his stock.

His modus operandi was bold and clever. Police observed him carefully as he arrived at one funeral home after another in Seoul’s southern Suseo district, removed his cheap footwear, made a brief appearance as a “mourner” inside the home and then donned another expensive pair of shoes and left his own behind.

Police caught him in the act of pilfering three pairs of shoes, which were worth a few thousand dollars collectively.

Whether or not Mrs. Imelda Marcos, famed former first lady of the Philippines who was said to own more than a thousand pair of shoes would have smiled at Mr. Park’s antics is not known, but this man has burgled his last set of shoes if the police in Seoul have anything to say about it!

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M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.