Nearly 3,000 Shirts Stolen in Factory Heist

Police are searching for a gang of thieves who cut through the wall of a garment factory in Kompong Speu province on Thursday before making off with nearly 3,000 shirts, according to police.

An unknown number of suspects are believed to have scaled a brick wall behind the United Apparel factory in Samraong Tong district’s Trapaing Kong commune in the early hours of the morning while security guards were posted in front, according to commune police chief San Vuthy.

“Then they cut through the thin metal wall of a warehouse and took the clothes,” Mr. Vuthy said, adding that the thieves used metal-cutting shears to get through the wall.

“The missing clothes were already packed in boxes for sending to buyers,” he said.

Mr. Vuthy said 88 boxes of shirts were stolen, likely with the help of a truck—given the weight of the merchandise. The break-in was discovered when a guard inspected the warehouse at about 3 a.m., he said.

“When the factory guard patrolled around the warehouse, he saw that the wall of the warehouse had been cut,” he said, adding that he did not know what kind of shirts were stolen, or for which brand they had been made.

“Now, we have invited all security guards who work the night shift to be interviewed so that we can prepare a report,” he added.

Deputy provincial police chief Som Bora said that though the case was still being investigated, officers suspected the burglary was an inside job.

“We suspect that the clothes were stolen by administrative staff,” he said, declining to answer further questions.

A United Apparel employee who answered a number listed for the factory denied that a break-in had taken place at all.

“There was no case of stolen items,” the man said, refusing to give his name or position. “All that happened was that gangsters threw rocks onto the roof.”

Mr. Vuthy, the commune police chief, asked a reporter not to write about the case until the police investigation concluded.

“Please do not publish the story,” he said. “My boss told me not to give any information to journalists.”

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