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South Korea police probe reports of vandalized Maseratis, Bentleys

South Korea police have reported rising numbers of vandalism against luxury vehicles. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
South Korea police have reported rising numbers of vandalism against luxury vehicles. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- An increasing number of luxury vehicles are being reportedly vandalized in South Korea in wealthy neighborhoods amid perceptions of rising socioeconomic inequality in the country.

Seoul's Gangnam Police said Tuesday a resident in his 20s reported a Maserati Ghibli parked in his building had been "severely damaged," local news service News 1 reported. The high-end vehicles cost about $100,000.

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Police said the owner, a resident of one of Seoul's most expensive districts, found his parked car with a broken window. Footprints were also found on the car. Police said they are in search of the culprit and are investigating the case using surveillance footage from street CCTV cameras.

South Korean police have previously reported cars being vandalized on the streets of satellite cities outside Seoul.

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A resident in the city of Suwon reported assault and severe damage to a Bentley, while inside the car, in April. The assailant, identified only as a university student, attacked the driver of the $160,000 car while giving the car door a "good hard kick."

South Korea's relative inequality is on the lower end of the scale, and is lower than the United States. But perceptions of rising inequality, illustrated in award-winning films like Parasite -- a parable of haves and have-nots -- may be pushing the progressive government in Seoul to do more to address the wealth gap.

Newsis reported last week the government has affirmed its commitment to equitable housing, following new policy announcements.

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The administration of President Moon Jae-in has said the objective of housing policy is to stabilize apartment prices in Seoul for households seeking a new home, while discouraging real estate speculation among short-term investors.

Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said last week the current policies are still "weak," despite recent moves to raise taxes on homes worth $730,000 or higher.

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